Wednesday, June 30, 2010

open to God...

How are we best open
to God's love
and power to transform
our lives?

Are we most open
when we extend a welcome to all people?
Or does our openness to God's Word
more readily lead us to a life of obedience?

Is faith not both?

Does an open welcome
to all people into the church
exclude the spiritual discipline
of obedience?

Can obedience
also be a calling
to openly welcome?

We say...
God is like
a mother who will not forsake
her nursing child,
like a father who runs to welcome
the prodigal home...

Unending nurture.
Unconditional welcome.

I give thanks that God
is like a mother who nurtures
and a father who welcomes.

I also give thanks that
my mother and father
love me without condition.

Of course,
through the years
I have obeyed my parents.
I have listened to their words,
respected their opinions,
and sought their forgiveness
when I was not so wise or compassionate.

And at this juncture
in my relationship
with my parents
I have come
to an understanding...
Obedience is
a bi-product of
unconditional love...
a bi-product of
my parents open
invitation to fully live
into my gifts,
and personality...
into the life God has
breathed into me.

I am blessed
to have parents who
have exhibited God's
parents who have
nurtured and welcomed.
Because I have
been fully loved
and nurtured...
I respond
and yes...

All these
responses are a
result of God's
unconditional love.

Faith does not begin and end
with obedience.
Faith begins and ends with

We love
because God
first loved us.
I John 4: 19

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you,
you also should love
one another.
By this
everyone will know
that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.
John 13: 34-35

indeed it is a
challenge these
days to feel the love
in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
eye rolling
and venomous words
seeping out of smiling mouths....
it is difficult to
discern the love
God longs for us to
receive, offer and to celebrate.

is the foundation
of faith...
God's love
made alive in Christ...
and sustained by the Holy Spirit.
God showed us the way
first by loving us.

I believe
we are called
first and foremost
to love.

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