God Is Near: Some things I’ve been reading

From Henri Nouwen, The Living Reminder: Service and Prayer in Memory of Jesus Christ

We have inherited a story which needs to be told in such a way that the many painful wounds about which we hear day after day can be liberated from their isolation and be revealed as part of God’s relationship with us.  Healing means revealing that our human wounds are most intimately connected with the suffering of God himself.  To be a living memory of Jesus Christ, therefore, means to reveal the connections between our small sufferings and the great story of God’s suffering in Jesus Christ, between our little life and the great life of God with us.

I love this.  God know our suffering, because he too suffered.  We don’t have to sit in isolation over our pain.  You are not alone!  God’s not done writing your story!

From David Benner, The Gift of Being Yourself (41-42)

The omnipresent God whose name is immanuel is not distant but nearer to us than we can imagine. God is not alien to the circumstances of our lives but comes to us in them.  Our Challenge is to unmask the Divine in the natural and name the presence of God in our lives.

—-

Richard Rohr Reminds us that “we cannot attain the presence of God.  We’re already totally in the presence of God.  What’s absent is awareness.”  This is the core of the spiritual journey — learning to discern the presence of God, to see what really is.

Even if you’ve left God, he hasn’t left you.  Even if you doubt him, God doesn’t doubt you.  My hope as a pastor is that I can help people realize that God is in the ordinary, the extraordinary, the painful, and the joyous experiences of their life, and everywhere in between.  God is there.  My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will help us to be more aware of what God is up to and his presence in our lives every day.

 

On The Cross

Another quote from Miroslav Wolf in “Free of Charge”:

On the cross, God is not setting up the terms of a contract that humans need to fulfill in order to get what they want. Neither is God saying on the cross, “I died for you, now you’ve got to do what I tell you.” Instead on the cross God’s own self is given for the sins of humanity.

God’s goods are not for sale; you can’t buy them with money or good deeds.  God doesn’t make deals. God gives.