Saturday, October 13, 2012

Morning Prayer Guide - Saturday

Saturday, October 13, 2012
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 90:12-17, Amos 3:13-4:5, and Matthew 15:1-9

Honoring parents while defining self is an interesting balance.  On the one hand, at some point we have to stand up for ourselves and begin making our own decisions about things, both great and small.  On the other hand, we have a responsibility to our parents, who took care of us and tried to teach us all those years.

Not all parents are as wonderful as we’d like them to be.  They, like all of us, make mistakes, but some parents seem to make more (or larger) mistakes than others do.  Other parents disengage, moving away from the relationship – even while we’re still children.  A few become abusive in one form or another.  Do we have to honor these parents too? The ones we’d rather not be around, or the ones we wish we’d never had?  Do we really have to honor them?

Jesus would say yes.  He did teach forgiveness, after all.  That doesn’t mean that we allow the behavior to continue, and it doesn’t mean that we mimic every single thing we’ve learned from them.  Honoring less-than-perfect parents can be really tough sometimes.

Every person, no matter how depraved or evil, was created in God’s image – the Imago Dei.  That they allowed themselves to fall as far from God as they did isn’t God’s fault.  To look into the face of a Hitler, or a Stalin, or an abusive parent and see God definitely takes grace.  God will give us that grace if we simply ask for it.  But every person, no matter how far from God he is, no matter how evil her actions and words are, has worth.  Jesus gave all of us worth when he died on the cross.

How then do we honor the image of God?  How can God use us to take broken images and make them whole again?

Pray for grace for yourself and others who have made mistakes.  Pray that God will show you how to honor parents that weren’t perfect, especially those who caused harm.  Pray for others whose parents make mistakes and bad choices.  Pray that God can use you to help others become more like him.  Write your own prayer.

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