Honest to God

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July 31, 2014

Honest To God ~ William C. Green

Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. From Hebrews 4:14-5:4

During the time that I served a congregation with many farmer in it, there were seasons of drought. City boy that I was, and not comfortable with the idea that God can make it rain, I got around the drought by thanking God for our many blessings. Besides, the days when it didn’t rain were beautiful.

Jesus said, “Ask, and you will receive. Knock, and the door will be opened.” He did not say, “Be realistic, and you might get what you are requesting,” or “Tap on the door and someone might answer.”

Jesus was bold, and urges us to be bold, because God is bold. What counted for Jesus is what counts for us: not prayer, but God, who works through our prayers. Maybe that means rain amid a drought. Who are we to doubt what God can do? If it doesn’t mean rain, it means something just as life-giving – power greater than our own that can see us through the worst circumstances. But if we don’t ask for it, how can we really receive it?

One preacher put it well when he said, “Some of our prayers need to be cut short at both ends and set on fire in the middle.” Honesty is the match.

PRAYER: God, make us bold. And keep us honest. May we ask for what we really want, not just what we think may be possible. Amen

Taken from the United Church of Christ devotional, God Is Still Speaking: 365 Daily Devotionals, ed. Christina Villa (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2013), 226.

Naked Dreams

July 30, 2014

Naked Dreams

And before [God] no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account. From Hebrews 4:1-13

I know I am not the only one to have had this dream, but I may be the only one to admit to it in a widely read devotional. You know the dream. You are trying to get to an important event, only to realize you are missing some key items of clothing. Like pants. And even more essential items. Sometimes all of them.

In the ream, I look around, wondering if people in the crowd have notice that I have taken the television show, “What Not to Wear,” way to literally. And oddly enough, the people have not noticed, at least not yet. The nightmare commences with me trying to get from point A to point B without anyone noticing I have no clothes on.

Did I mention that in these dreams, I am often en route to a professional gathering? For me that would be church. But I have also had the dream about elementary school, violin recitals, and even one where I’m competing in the Olympics.

So this passage about God seeing us naked makes many of us a little uneasy. It’s like a bad dream we want to wake up from.

But here our anxiety is misplaced. God isn’t checking out our tan lines. God means to express that we are totally known, for better and for worse even in ways that we would not want the world to know us. And even in that state, we are loved. We will be examined of course, but we will also be loved.

PRAYER: If anyone should see my soul naked, I would choose you, God, because you have seen it all. And still, you sent me Jesus. Amen

 Taken from the United Church of Christ devotional, God Is Still Speaking: 365 Daily Devotionals, ed. Christina Villa (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2013), 225.