Notice these three phrases from Psalm 22: “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before [God]. . . . Future generations will be told about the Lord.”
“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord.” Make this a daily remembering—a daily turning to God, finding some time to pause and turn.
“And all the families of the nations shall worship before [God].” Within each day, find a space and a time to worship. You may gather with a community you are part of and worship together. You may take some gratitude time when you are alone and give thanks for God’s gifts. You may choose to avail yourself of some meditation time where you are quiet and listen. You might take some “lake” time and simply consider creation.
“Future generations will be told about the Lord.” All of us take responsibility to tell the story. Speak the parables, memorize a psalm, study the scriptures—so future generations will know how to abide. This abiding leads to an abundant life rich in love, busy in doing, and verbal in telling.
Take the braids from each passage, and weave them together. Sometimes I create a spoken chant, learn it, and then walk with it—around the yard, around the house, or lie in bed at night and say it. Create a beat and fit the words into that rhythm: Abide in love. Bear fruit. Worship—and tell the story. Listen, and do justice. And abide in love.
Keep watching the braid. Make sure it has balance; make sure God is part of it. Comb out the tangles and whisper words of love.
God, help me create a braid in my life, a weaving together of abiding in you, bearing fruit, doing justice, and telling the story to others. Amen.
Two primary themes emerge from our readings for this week. In Psalm 22, we find the promise that even faraway nations will turn and worship the Lord. The book of Acts provides partial fulfillment of this promise. Through the action of the Holy Spirit, a court official from distant Ethiopia hears the gospel and can take it home to his native land. The Johannine readings focus on the theme of abiding (remaining) in God. “God is love,” the epistle states, so all who claim to abide in God manifest love to the world. The author pushes the point: If we maintain animosity toward others, we cannot claim to remain in the love of God. In John, Jesus states that we must remain in him if we want to bear good fruit for God.
• Read Acts 8:26-40. What boundaries do you draw? How would God view such boundaries given what you know of God?
• Read Psalm 22:25-31. How will you create a daily remembering of God? How will you tell the story?
• Read 1 John 4:7-21. How do you comb out the tangles in your life—in relationships, in your work setting?
• Read John 15:1-8. How secure do you feel about being attached to the vine? What has God done in your life to make it more productive?
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