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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

"Unsearchable... Inscrutable."

I ask for the grace of focus and the ability to be fully present.  To receive what I need to do what I need to do this day.  As I read sacred text, I pray for the Abbotsford Police Department and a family, grieving their loved one.  I pray for so many victims of violence this week.  I pray for the Syrian family we are trying to sponsor to resettle to Canada.  I pray for the clients who make use of our extreme weather shelter, and the volunteers and staff who make our extreme weather shelter happen.  I pray for those who are left outside during cold days and nights.

Romans 11:33-36
33 O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways!
34 ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord?
   Or who has been his counsellor?’
35 ‘Or who has given a gift to him,
   to receive a gift in return?’
36For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory for ever. Amen.

1) "O the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God;" " unsearchable are his judgements;" "...inscrutable his ways;" "...who has  known the mind of the Lord;" "...from him and through him and to him are all things;" " him be the glory;"  "O the depths;" "...riches and wisdom and knowledge;" "...unsearchable;" "...inscrutable;" "...all things;" "...unsearchable;" "...inscrutable;"

2) "Unsearchable" and "inscrutable."  I don't even like calling what God calls "judgements."  "Judgements" are a human valuation.  If God's ways are indeed, "unsearchable" and "inscrutable" we need to exercise extreme caution when talking about "judgements."  Funny how Paul takes with one hand and gives with another.  It's like he talks out of both sides of his face.  "We can't search the mind of God, but by God, I know God has judged you!"  Of course, I do want to say I know something about the "ways" and "judgements" of God. God's ways are ways of empathy, justice, compassion, peace that isn't just an absence of violence, but an affirmation of all creation.  God does not approve of violence, selfishness, greed at the cost of the wellbeing of others.  God longs for our wholeness, healing and reconciliation, but I can't say specifically what that looks like for anyone without extended dialogue.

3) What is the invitation in all this?  To exercise extreme caution when contemplating "God's judgments."

"Holy One, instill in us a sense of you unsearchable, inscrutable ways."

Breathprayer: "Unsearchable... inscrutable."

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