Friday, 10 February 2012

Retreating Friday

Happy Friday.    Some weeks,  Friday is the day to catch up on all paperwork.  Or more in reality, to dig through the pile of paperwork and find the "Do Me Soonest" piles.   Yet in the busy-ness of paperwork,  there always is time to say Thank You to God for the week,  for friends,   for the Church,   for the Community.  The Celts used to pray for each small individual thing.   As I dig through paperwork,  I find myself praying for the names of individuals or companies listed on the paperwork.   Praying for them that they may open their hearts to the call of God.   And as Capt Jean Luc Picard of "Next Generation - Star Trek" used to say,  "Make it so!"  
And so it is this Friday.  A time to retreat in prayer through paperwork.  Who knew paperwork could be such a prayer provider  :)

Devotional ....
Prayer:  Help us,  O LORD,  to love our enemies.  Help us,  O LORD,  to see love and joy in everyone.  Help us,  O LORD,  to continually exhalt Your praises.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read:  St. Matthew 5: 42 – 48

Love for your enemies.   Oh dear.  Yes,  Jesus says we have to love our enemies.  Jesus is instructing the Disciples from the law found in Leviticus 19: 16 – 18:  “Do not go about spreading slander among your people.  Do not do anything that endangers your neighbour’s life.  I am the LORD.  Do not hate your brother in your heart.  Rebuke your neighbour frankly so you will not share in his guilt.  Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself.  I am the LORD”.      Jesus expands this law from Leviticus which only looks at one’s brother (or tribe) and one’s neighbour to an instruction that teaches us that we must love one’s brother AND our neighbour AND our enemy AND THEN PRAY for those who persecute you.   Wow.   What a tall order.   But why do we gladly follow Jesus’ teachings?   Simple… because we love God.   Out of our love for God,  we love and prayer even for our worst enemy.  We live generously and graciously toward others the same way as God loves us. 

Prayer:  We love You,  our Creator and Redeemer.   We bow before You in worship and ask to come into Your presence with praise.    Great God,  we bring before You today those who we must love even though we don’t want to love.  We name these people in the silence of our hearts.   Help us this day to go forth in Your love and help those who we have named in the silence of our hearts.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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