Thursday, May 07, 2015

Purify My Heart

By Beth DeCristofaro

… God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting (Gentiles) the Holy Spirit just as he did us.  He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts. (Acts 15:9)

Jesus said to his disciples:  “As the Father loves me, so I also love you.  Remain in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  “I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.”  (John 15:9-11)

Dear God,
On this day I ask You to grant this request…
May I know who I am and what I am,
Every moment of every day.
May I be a catalyst for light and love,
And bring inspiration to those whose eyes I meet.
May I have the strength to stand tall in the face of conflict,
And the courage to speak my voice, even when I’m scared.
May I have the humility to follow my heart,
And the passion to live my soul’s desires.
May I seek to know the highest truth
And dismiss the gravitational pull of my lower self.
May I embrace and love the totality of myself…
My darkness as well as my light.
May I be brave enough to hear my heart…
To let it soften so that I may gracefully
Choose faith over fear.
Today is my day to surrender anything that stands
Between the sacredness of my humanity and my divinity.
May I be drenched in my Holiness
And engulfed by Your love.
May all else melt away.
And so it is.

So even in the early days of the Church there were discussions and differences in understanding Jesus’ message.  The Apostles might feel right at home in many of our congregations!  And of course the divergences have grown even among those who identify themselves as Christians.  Jesus continues to speak of love – love God and love one another, offering himself as model of one who so loved His Father that He always pointed to God rather than Himself as Ultimate Truth.  And He promised – promises today – our joy may be complete in God.  What a promise.  God promises all of us joy! 

We live in a nation that is struggling with disagreements which have led to sides demonizing each other.  Injustices, violence, rifts occur and fear, rage and despair become too prevalent.  Peter, Paul and the Apostles who faced high opposition did not fear.  Jesus, living in an occupied land spoke of joy.  There is no surfeit of God’s mercy but we must remain in God not remain imprisoned in our own limited worldview.  

For what can I give thanks to God for that is pure gift?  How can I express the joy of that gift in my actions and words today?

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