News, Sermons, Devotions

Weekday Devotions

The Reign of God as provocation. Comments to: adebelak@redeemerluth.com

The Reign of God as provocation just does not give up sticking its vision and life right in our faces. The Spirit provokes us to come and live within the fullness of life that has been promised and will come to be. You see, a party is being thrown right now. It is an adventure in grace and mercy and love and kindness with strong accents of justice and peace. It is happening - we are invited to take part. In the midst of a violent world, the Reign of God as provocation bends in toward us to tell us another way to be alive in this world. It reveals how love can and does transform hatred and how forgiveness does create a whole new world. Sure we don't always believe that, and yet, the provocation never ceases. We can expect to be provoked and given the opportunity to enter the life of this Reign.

O God of New Life and All Hopefulness, in the midst of days when our hearts reflect the values of the world around us continue to crack open our hearts with your Reigning and Real Presence. Amen.

Weekday Devotions

The Reign of God as provocative. Comments to: adebelak@redeemerluth.com

The Reign of God as provocative has a way of testing us - pulling at us - rattling us - shaking us up. It is not to the point of being in despair. And yet, it can be quite a profound shaking. The coming of the Reign of God into our midst can rattle our bones - just as the wind of God rattled the bones in the valley of dry bones. We are stirred up by the vision of God's Reign that is capable of falling down upon us and transforming the day. I love the book of Acts for this reason. In many of those stories, God's Reign is provoking faithfulness among people who do not know what is to come next or who may be afraid of what they think will come next. Like a wildfire we are moved and find ourselves in a new place and living under a new reality. It is all quite amazing.

O God of New Life and All Hopefulness, as you revive us and we step out into a life we did not anticipate or do not control, we are handed new life. Blessed are you for giving us newness in the midst of that seems so unchangeable. Amen.


,.,

Weekday Devotions

The Reign of God as provocative. Comments to: adebelak@redeemerluth.com

The Reign of God as provocative keeps us from being settled into life as we have it. There are always questions raised or comments made that move us off the center we tend to love so much. It is good to be moved off center - it means we are having to see life from another perspective. That, is always good. When our presuppositions are tested or drawn into question, we may learn how to love more deeply and reach out more boldly. I have heard over and over again that people who travel to other countries and get to know the viewpoint of those people are often people who are open to diversity and change. This helps in regard to being less judgmental. The Reign of God as provocative is part of the way we learn to experience the wonder of God's creation.

O God of New Life and All Hopefulness, teach us to move out of our own circles and dance with those we often ignore or fear to know. Amen.

Weekday Devotions

The Reign of God as provocative. Comments to: adebelak@redeemerluth.com

The Reign of God as provocative will egg us on - always and forever. We all know that too often we can be content to stay just as we are. It is too easy to want the world to line up as we would like things to go. And then, this Reign of God - this vision - this promise, nudges us and challenges us to change. Ah! That is how this Reign works. The Reign of God as provocative bids us to lean and the enter into a life that we had not planned to enter. I often use the image of being tickled for such an action. The Reign of God can bug us - disturb us - pull us out of our skin so that we will somehow turn in a new direction - intonew life.

O God of New Life and All Hopefulness, come and bring your life right into the lives we plan for ourselves and let the boat be rocked. Amen.

Weekday Devotions

The Reign of God as waiting. Comments to: adebelak@redeemerluth.com

The Reign of God as waiting disrupts us simply be becoming a part of our storytelling. A brief story of the life of God's Reign - a parable - a happening during the day - a remembrance of how Jesus did this or that, all become the fuel for the day being disrupted and realigned. We remember and we are nudged. We are nudged and we think about acting. We think about acting and we face a new way to live. The day at hand becomes something fresh and new. The Reign of God as waiting can turn the day into a thrilling event that transforms all things because it is always ready to create new life and who knows what that will bring next.

O God of New Life and All Hopefulness, take us into your eternal presence and expand our lives. Amen.

Weekday Devotions

The Reign of God as waiting. Comments to: adebelak@redeemerluth.com

The Reign of God as waiting is always there - waiting. And yet when this Reign waits, it is not as something sitting in the corner out of way of folks. No, it waits right in the way of things. Along the way to the ordinary things of the day the Reign of God waits for us to enter and come alive. I think that is really a wild notion. I think of Jesus along the way from Galilee to Jerusalem and in and out of all the towns. He was walking into the ordinary of everyday and yet he entered into the power and life of the Reign of God. That action is something very easy to ignore. It is also the action all of us are invited to enter. The Reign of God as waiting will not go away - it will not hide - it longs to become the life of us - therefore, it waits - always present and always available.

O God of New Life and All Hopefulness, blessed is your love that remains and sustains and is endlessly present to greet us and shape us. Amen.

Weekday Devotions

The Reign of God as waiting. Comments to: adebelak@redeemerluth.com

The Reign of God as waiting cherishes the time at hand. The Reign of God is so involved in unfolding new life all around us, each moment becomes one in which God holds and treasures the moment as though God's Reign will expand here and now when any of us is pulled into its living presence . Waiting like this is what a grandfather does when he has the opportunity to hold the grandchild while the parent is off getting something done in the house. It is a time full of life and expectation and glory.

O God of New Life and All Hopefulness, let the time at hand awaken us to your glory shining in and through all things. Amen.