“Give the Lord Glory and Honor” by Wayne Miller
Thus says the LORD to his anointed, Cyrus, whose right hand I grasp, subduing nations before him, and making kings run in his service, opening doors before him and leaving the gates unbarred: For the sake of Jacob, my servant, of Israel, my chosen one, I have called you by your name, giving you a title, though you knew me not. I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides me. It is I who arm you, though you know me not, so that toward the rising and the setting of the sun, people may know that there is none besides me. I am the LORD; there is no other. The word of the Lord. (Isaiah 45:1, 4-6)
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all you lands. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.Give the Lord glory and honor. (Psalm 96:1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10)
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen. For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and the Holy Spirit and with much conviction. (Thessalonians 1:1-5b)
Shine like lights in the world as you hold on to the word of life. (Philippians 2:15d, 16a)
The Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech. They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion, for you do not regard a person’s status. Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” Knowing their malice, Jesus said, “Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin that pays the census tax.” Then they handed him the Roman coin. He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?” They replied, “Caesar’s.” At that, he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” (Matthew 22:15-21)
Abba, we give you thanks always for the miraculous ways you Love us in all the experiences of our everyday lives. Fill us with your love to see and hear and recognize and praise Your Presence in our world.
The voices I hear today:
Isaiah: King Cyrus was a monotheistic believer who conquered Babylon and wisely offered restoration to the people enslaved. He may not have known it, but his wise, regal decision was inspiration planted in his heart by Our Loving God, who loved not only the Jews but all people unjustly taken from their homes and lands. We have the story of the immense impact this had on our spiritual forefathers and their homeland.
Our God will use many unlikely authorities in our lives to draw us closer to Him. Am I aware of the actions in my world today that offer a call to a more significant loving relationship with the Father and His Children?
Psalm 96: Give the Lord glory and honor.
Worship and forever praise God for His Blessings in all things. Do not worship earthly rulers – they are only the icons and vessels through which God (I Am) acts to exercise His Love in all of us.
Paul: Thanksgiving for the Love of God made flesh in his Thessalonian community through their loving support. Who do I need to thank for the living Love of God poured out on me today?
Jesus: His consistent message is always: Be IN the world, but not OF the world. Use the world’s things for the world’s activities. But keep your heart and mind firmly in relationship with God through Jesus in the Holy Spirit! Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar – but, more importantly, do not obsess over-dependence on the goods of this world for security and peace. God’s Presence in your heart is the only source for that.
So, what do I do with all this wisdom, encouragement, and scolding?
How do I love the son reeling from a year of unemployment, divorce, and near-death health?
How do I
love the son struggling with his inherent communications issues while trying
desperately to be a good provider, father, and husband?
How do I love the son who, after a lifetime of denial, has suddenly fallen head-over-heels in Love with Our Lady’s Rosary?
How do I love my wife, the simple, pure, precious heart, giving every ounce of herself to pass the Love of Our Lord to all of our family and the beautiful community with which God has surrounded us?
For me and my house, we shall worship the Lord – and show up faithfully at Group Reunion to encourage and be encouraged by our brothers and sisters!
Make a Friend! Be a Friend! Bring Christ to your Friend! And celebrate the miracle of salvation, redemption, and foolish empowerment that will occur when we let go of our addictions and egos.