Tag Archives: peace

October 26. 2009

1 Thessalonians 5:23 “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In our journey through Spiritual Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton we have reached the chapter on “Honoring the Body.” Early in the chapter she makes this confession:

“I, too, needed to face the fact that rather than caring for my body as I would any other highly valued gift, I had been using it for my own ends, to the point that it was now protesting. I hadn’t been paying much attention to what I ate, so there was far too much sugar and junk food in my diet. Rather than getting enough rest, I had become quite dependent on caffeine for additional energy. I had never considered the importance of drinking enough water. And, as a busy parent juggling the demands of home and family plus church and career, I thought that I didn’t have enough time or energy to exercise or engage in physical activities that I enjoyed. Just as the angel gave Elijah very concrete instructions about eating, drinking, and sleeping (1 Kings 19:5-9), I needed specific guidance for how to care for my body as a part of my spiritual practice and as preparation for the rigors of the spiritual journey into which I was being invited.” (79)

As Paul reminds us in the above passage, God’s care and concern for us includes our spirits, souls and bodies.  Is God saying something to you about your body? Is God saying something to you through your body? Might be something to listen for this week.

Don

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February 9, 2009

Mark 10:13-14: The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom.

As we read through the New Testament together in our congregation I find it interesting the extent to which conflict is in the forefront. In this passage the disciples are irritated with the people bringing their children, and Jesus is “irate” with the disciples. Some of us thrive on a good fight, but most people find conflict to be negative. We are more drawn to the Jesus who preaches peace and love. But this is the same Jesus who stands up and confronts. Are the two qualities mutually exclusive? Can love and peace be a real presence even in the midst of disagreement, conflict and the attendant emotions that accompany them? The gospels seem to indicate that this can be so. In fact, conflict may open us up to a deeper encounter with God and others, as was the case here. If you have no conflicts in your life this week you have reason to be very thankful. But if you do, and most of us do on some level, you may have the opportunity, albeit a difficult one, of going further into a holy place. May you find the grace to go there.

Don

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