Showing posts from November, 2012


(16)Rejoice always,(17)pray without ceasing,(18) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

These seem impossible. I won't speak to our ability to literally carry out the Apostle's advice in verses 16 and 17. But today we might consider verse 18. Note that Paul does not say "give thanks for everything" - thank God! It would be spiritually destructive to bless evil or rejoice in injury.

But he does suggest that in any circumstance - illness, prison cell, poverty, persecution, grief - we can be attentive to those things which are also true, also real, and worthy of praise. Even in the midst of grave distress, a thankful heart is God's will for us. It is at least a partial remedy for our suffering. And it points us to the hope of redemption, seen in the grace which is continually at work in our lives.

This day, which in the U.S. is nominally a national day of thanksgiving, may we remember all for w…

Woe to you, destroyer - prayer for peace

Woe to you, destroyer,
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp you who have not been destroyed!
Woe to you, betrayer,
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp you who have not been betrayed!
When you stop destroying,
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp you will be destroyed;
when you stop betraying,
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp you will be betrayed.
Lord, be gracious to us;
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp we long for you.
Be our strength every morning,
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp our salvation in time of distress.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Isaiah 33:1-2 (NIV)

The prophet cries out, warning at the disaster which is to come. War respects no one.

Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets;
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
The highways are deserted,
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp no travelers are on the roads.
The treaty is broken,
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp its witnesses are despised,
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp no one is respected.
The land dries up and wastes away...