I ask for the grace to pray and meditate faithfully. I ask to show patience, tolerance, empathy, and compassion. I ask to abstain from anger, anxiety, compulsive behaviour, discouragement, and self-importance. I ask to know and follow Jesus more closely, seeking justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly.
1 John 1:5-10
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.
6If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true;
7but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1) "God is light;" "...in him there is no darkness at all;" "...he himself is in the light;" "...we deceive ourselves;" "...the truth is not in us;" "...he who is faithful and just;"
2) Immediately I have to wonder, what constitutes "darkness" such that there is "no darkness at all" in God? the following line seems to illustrate a little more on what constitutes "darkness." The things that we do that deny God. Is he "light" or is he "in the light"? Walking with God/Jesus is to confess our sins. Walking in the light, means admitting to the shadow that is in us. God is light, faithful, just, and true. Can we trust God's light, faithfulness, justice, and truth enough to confess our shadow/sin/darkness faithfully. I was just listening to a clip on Facebook about raising teenagers. The speaker talked about getting ready to ride a roller coaster. You sit in the car and someone comes a long to put down a metal bar across your lap. Immediately you push and pull on the bar. It is not your desire for the bar to give way. You want the bar to do its job and you are testing it. The speaker compared this to parenting teenagers. Parents put down the bar, and the teenagers push and pull on the bar, not hoping it will let go, but that it will remain in place. Teenagers need to know that they have something in their life that will hold as they go through the ups, downs, bends and turns. Parents need to learn to not take that struggling personally, but to remain steady and in place. Its a useful image. The problem is that no person is going to get 100% on that test. We are human beings, not metal bars locked in by mechanics. Being an adult, or a parent doesn't get us a "get out of sinning free card." Parents fail the test. Teenagers can be stronger than the bar. We end up with teenagers who grow up with out unconditional love who continue to test every relationship to see if it will be the one that is able to love "unconditionally." Our need for God is for an absolutely unconditional lover, who forgives and reconciles even when the bar gives way.
3) What is the invitation in all this? I have a number of adult "teenagers" in my community who throw everything they've got at me to see if I will be the "one" to "love" them unconditionally. I can feely admit I regularly fail the test. And, of course, there are certain people with whom I am more likely to fail the test than others. How does God want unconditional love to be expressed through me?
"Holy One, Guide us all in taking responsibility for our actions and expressing your unconditional love."
Breathprayer: "God is light... faithful and just."