Tuesday, March 24, 2009

With Us is God

March 25, 2009

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Then he said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:13-14

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38

Piety (Based upon Psalm 40)

Lord, I am waiting for you just as you are waiting for me. Draw me out of my selfish pursuits and self-destructive behaviors. Set my feet upon the solid ground that you have cultivated for my personal and spiritual growth. Put your song of praise on my mind, on my lips and in my heart.

Help me to turn my back on seeking happiness and security in this world from Jack Daniels or Jim Beam. From Ipod or Izod. From the NFL and the NBA. From the golf course or the baseball diamond. From the stock markets or the savings bond.

Send the Holy Spirit to inspire change – a change in the direction in which I am looking for happiness. Revive me from sleep walking through life to live once again reconnected to you and your presence. Nothing in this world is a shadow of your wonders. Open my ears and eyes to your word and works.

LORD, do not withhold your compassion from me; may your enduring kindness ever preserve me. For all about me are countless temptations. Rescue me! Come quickly to help me, LORD! Put to shame and confound all who seek to take my life away from you. Take from me Father all that keeps me from you. Give to me, Jesus, all that leads me to you. Set me free, Holy Spirit, that I might dedicate my life to you.


You have found favor with God. God has bent down and heard our cry. Whether we are at the top of Mount Tabor or at the pit of despair, the message gets through. There is no heavenly receptionist running holy interference. Our message gets right through to the ear of our God.

When the angel spoke these words, the “favor” was not limited to Mary. All of us…in the fullness of time…have found favor with God. God wants to be with us. The joy of the annunciation is not just the announcing that Jesus is on the way. The joy is that God, who originally set up the covenant with us decades ago still wants to fulfill that despite all that we have done and all we have “failed to do.” God does not want to be some remote, distant object of our worship. From the very outset of the original covenant with Moses, Abraham and David, God wants to be engaged in a very intimate relationship with us.

Did you ever have a friend that you could not wait to see? Maybe she or he had been travelling, away at school or on a business trip and you were awaiting their return. God wants us to have the joy of the reunion every day. God wants to be so close that he can stop by and take a walk with us around the block, along the beach or share a jog around the lake.

What does God ask of us in return? The Psalmist gives us that answer. “Here I am; your commands for me are written in the scroll. To do your will is my delight; my God, your law is in my heart!” Psalm 40-:8-9

• God seeks awareness of the present moment -- every moment just like God always is aware of us, our wants and our needs.

• God seeks understanding -- not only understanding of the commandments but the will to carry them out without resentment. God does not want to coerce us into following Jesus. God wants that decision to be ours, freely chosen and gladly chosen.

• God seeks our hearts – because once God is instilled within us, the law to rest in our hearts, not to be imposed on our minds like some kind of Biblical brainwashing.

Awareness. Understanding. Happiness. That is why cults are so anathema to the Bible. We don’t need to follow some cult figure serving us false Kool-Aid. We need to be attracted to the love and life-giving water that Christians have for each other and act accordingly not because we have to but because we want to.

Sacrifice and holocaust do not point the way toward a walk with God. As the prophet Micah 6:8 put it, “You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.” With us is God. Within us is God. The values God instills are the values God seeks us to live.


As blogger “Sherry” expressed it: “In the end, I’m not sure that there is more that any of us can do than our best. I am here, Lord. I am doing my best, trying to discern your will, trying to uphold your will, and please you. Here I am Lord.”

Do your best for the candidates on the next Cursillo.

Psalm 40 is the theme for the next Men’s Cursillo Weekend. Visit the web site and get the list of candidates for Palanca. Right now there are 12 disciples signed up for the weekend. Do you know a potential candidate? Talk to God about your friend before you talk to your friend about the weekend. Then make a friend. Be a friend. Bring a friend to Christ. M118 (April 16-19, 2009) Missionhurst.

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