|Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
“When a strong man fully armed guards his courtyard, his possessions
go undisturbed. But when someone stronger than he comes and overpowers
him, such a one carries off the arms on which he was relying and divides
Right now there is so much talk of protection, security and safety. I long for the image of a “strong man fully armed” to guard me and my possessions so that I can remain undisturbed.
Dear Lord, what is the cost of my remaining “undisturbed”? At what price do I live in a cocoon wrapped away from the world? Am I undisturbed about the poor and marginalized I see around me each day? Can I remain untouched by the violence and fears I see in the faces of others on the news? Do I pretend that my everyday actions, purchases and way of life have nothing to do with the conflicts on the other side of the world?
What is in my life, dear Jesus, that I am protecting so desperately? I stand in my courtyard waiting to fend off an outside enemy, but the foe is already here, hiding deep within my own house. What darkness do I have, Lord, that I arm myself against? Tell me what fears I have that I am afraid to bring to you? What ignorance am I too lazy to tackle? Which of your neediest people am I prepared to ignore as I walk by them on my way to worship you?
We have so much to be sorry for, loving God. Forgive us our
sins and grant us the peace we long for – peace that will come only when
we drop the heavy weapons of our everyday concerns and open the doors of
our courtyards to care for others. And finally, as I labor with you
for your neediest, then will the tightly locked doors of my house fall
open and the light of your love be released.
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