Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Morning Prayer Guide - Wednesday

Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.

Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Collect for Purity:

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read: Psalm 119:169-176, Isaiah 10:12-20, and John 7:25-36

Jesus was in the temple during his last week before the crucifixion.  He was saying some tough things to the Pharisees and their followers, and they weren’t reacting all that well.  Every metaphor he used seemed to go over their heads.  They were getting angrier and angrier.

Jesus is a really hard pill to swallow sometimes.  He challenges all of our preconceived notions.  He challenges what we’ve always heard in church.  He challenges our complacency, our lack of urgency, and our hypocrisy.  Jesus is difficult to stomach.

Jesus makes us angry sometimes.  He comes along and says things at the most inopportune times.  He shines a light on us, forcing us to look at our imperfections.  He tells us that we can’t be selfish anymore, that we can’t do it our own way, and that we have to die to self in order to live for him.  And then he goes and changes the familiar, making us uncomfortable yet again.

Jesus and his trouble-making go merrily on.

Being a follower of Jesus is really hard sometimes.  Just when we think we’ve gotten the hang of it, he challenges something else within us.  Just when we start to get comfortable, used to the new things he’s brought about, he goes and jerks the rug out from under us, changing something else and challenging us to keep up.

Jesus and his trouble-making go merrily on.

But Jesus’ trouble-making is the way of life and peace.  Follow him.

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