Prayer for August 12, 2021: Please pray with me. God of meaning, you give us what we seek – meaning and purpose. So often we wander wondering what it’s all about. There doesn’t seem to be nice simple answers. We guess more often than we prefer. You give us meaning. And the meaning isn’t found in the end result. We have no control over that. Rather, the meaning you give for us is in the means – in how we live. You call on us to care for the poor. You call on us to love our enemies and our neighbors. You call on us to care for the sick. You call on us to welcome the stranger and the foreigner and treat them as a friend. These are all actions and attitudes that we live into right now. They are the very things that give meaning because they are not focused on ourselves. They are about the betterment of everyone. Your way is not about individualism. It’s about shalom – wholeness and completeness. Amen.
Call to action: Do the ends justify the means, or are the means what matter? That is the essential question for today. If the ends are all that matter, then it makes sense to live in fear, to not trust anyone else, and to get what you can get. But how is that being Christ-like? Your challenge today is examine one area of your life that you struggle with this. Is it is caring for the poor, welcoming the foreigner, loving an enemy, caring for the sick? Be honest with yourself. And do one small thing that makes you uncomfortable, but is a form of serving someone else. Just one small thing that orients you towards the concern of someone else that you have a difficult time identifying with. Just one. Do it now because when we wait, we come up with plenty of excuses for why we can put it off. And when we do that, we miss an opportunity to grow, to learn, and to live into the means.