June 27, 2017 by jmar198013
We often invite people to join us in prayer when we’re hurt, scared, or confused. But how often do we invite our friends to join us in prayers of thanksgiving, as a community, when our prayers have been answered? Psalm 30 affirms the prayer of lament, but also making our personal joy a time for community praise and celebration. This way, it helps us both to weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice.
June 22, 2017 by jmar198013
The Psalms not only give us new language to speak to God with; they give us new and colorful ways to describe God, imagine God, and experience God. This leads to deeper and richer conversations with God. Psalm 23 imagines God as both a shepherd guiding us through scary places; and a host who wines and dines us in his own home. Other psalms portray God as a warrior, food and drink, and even a mother with a nursing baby at her breast. When we learn to imagine and speak to God with these metaphors, we learn God’s faithfulness to meet all our needs.
June 14, 2017 by jmar198013
In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King said “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” That’s the burning sentiment behind the prayer that asks: How long?
November 4, 2016 by jmar198013
In the book of Jonah, God shows faithful mercy to both Nineveh and Jonah. Israel and the nations. That means we should not be surprised when God shows faithful mercy to the church and the world. To me, to you, and the other guy. And by leaving God’s question hanging in the air, our storyteller gives us a choice: Will we choose Jonah’s way? Or God’s?
August 25, 2016 by jmar198013
Jesus taught us to pray for our bread; and to pray that we will be forgiving as well as forgiven people. But he also gave us a meal—one we share every week—that binds the story of our forgiveness to the bread we eat.
August 13, 2016 by jmar198013
Jesus didn’t teach us to pray to an Unmoved Mover; nor to an Angry God who barely tolerates our mere existence. No, Jesus said: “When you pray, say: ‘Father.'”
July 22, 2012 by jmar198013
Matt. 6.1-18 tells us that it is the very hiddenness of our good deeds that allows the world to ascribe honor to God, rather than to Christians. The honor that Christians may rightly receive is the honor ascribed us by God, honor which radiates from God.