For the Most

For the Most Vulnerable

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Spirit Dances

Each Morning, Noon and Night.

Only By the Spirit Working In Us

Can We Dance Jesus’ Dance.

Zechariah 7:10

… do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.

Ephesians 4:20

That is not the way you learned Christ!

Words of Grace For Today

God calls us many times in many ways to do justice for the most vulnerable, in Zechariah named as the widow, the orphan, the alien and the poor.

How do we learn?

How do we learn to do justice?

How do we learn Christ?

Is learning to do justice the same as learning Christ?

No, they are not the same.

They do overlap.

To do justice is for the most part to follow Christ’ commandment to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and strength, and to love our neighbours (and enemies) as ourselves.

But not all of ‘doing justice’ is what Christ calls us to.

And just ‘doing justice’ hardly begins to encompass all Christ calls us to.

For Christ calls us to love. To love as God loves. To love even when it costs us. And that moves us into and then also far beyond just doing justice for others.

Yet how can we learn to do justice?

Study, practice, and make errors … and more study, more practice, and more errors and (it keeps repeating, since we never get it completely and what we did yesterday does not provide justice for the most vulnerable today.)

And how can we learn Jesus?

Some would say it is the same. We study, practice, make errors, and repeat.

Those who have listened to the saints will know that will never even get us close, for the key to Jesus is

that we cannot learn Jesus on our own at all.

We only come to know Jesus when the Holy Spirit moves us to.

So we pray each day, come Lord Jesus, walk with us, let the Holy Spirit guide our thoughts, hearts and spirits, our dreams, visions, and hopes, and most of all our actions. Let them be reflections of Jesus to one another, and especially the most vulnerable.

And then we study, contemplate, plan, dream, and act as if it were all up to us, humbly remembering the Holy Spirit will guide and empower us.

If Only …

If Only It Were So Simple!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Thinking We Can Make Things Beautiful On Our Own,

Ruins All Our Efforts

Exodus 24:7

Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.’

James 1:22

But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.

Words of Grace For Today

Yes, we will do it!

We will be obedient!

(until we are not, of course, which is always bound to happen, since it is built into us humans to explore, push the limits, and rebel against authority.)

Oh, if James were anything other than a straw gospel, one that is blown away by even the slightest wind of adversity.

Then we could not just be hearers but doers as well of the Gospel.


life is much more complicated than that,

and so much more interesting.

We not only need to listen and hear and attempt to do, we need to start by confessing that we cannot on our own follow Jesus’ way of self-sacrificial love.

We need to beg for help from the Holy Spirit.

So, also this day,

we wish to be followers of Jesus, doers of God’s Grace, obedient servants of God Will,

but since we know we cannot ever,

we confess our sins,

trust we are forgiven,

and move into the day

knowing we are fully dependent on God to do anything good or worthwhile.

Just beggars, we are,

just beggars,

by Grace alone, saintly beggars.

Visions and Realities

Friday, November 24, 2023

Visions of Grace,

Brighter in the Darkness of Our Realities,

Than the Moon on a Clear Winter Night.

Zechariah 13:9

And I will put this third into the fire, refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’

Revelation 21:3-4

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.’

Words of Grace For Today

The day is coming, when …

The day is coming, when will it come?!

The day is coming, when death will be no more, mourning and crying and pain will be no more!

When will it come!!?

That is a vision of God’s promises brought to completion for us all.

Meanwhile the realities we face are obvious:

It is as if we are in the smelters cup, over the fire, dross (which we have so dearly accumulated and attached ourselves to) is burning off, and we are poured into moulds of things precious and of use …


of use to God, and maybe not to our worldly ways of evaluating things.

The realities of our daily lives are challenging to say the least, just to survive


God’s saints

pulled and pushed and cajoled and seduced by temptations to trust not in God’s good graces, but rather in our own efforts to secure life for ourselves.

Thank heaves we have visions

of God walking with us,

among us,

working for us,

completing some of the Promises God makes each day,

also this day.

How the Crap Flies!

Thursday, November 23, 2023

How Bright The Light Of God’s Grace,

That Leads Us On Through Life,


Psalm 69:6

Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me, O Lord God of hosts; do not let those who seek you be dishonoured because of me, O God of Israel.

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace ….

Words of Grace For Today

When we sin, especially when we aim it at other people in anger, the effects of that evil just keep getting bounced around, spreading further and further.

A wise old pastor said once among friends looking back on their lives as pastors, “I hope that I have not hurt anyone.”

Today that could easily be improved on with, “God, I pray you will forgive me for the people I have hurt, and that you will help them heal.”

When Leonard Cohen wrote, “If the sun would lose its light And we lived an endless night … And no one that you hurt could ever heal, Well that’s how broken I would be, What my life would seem to me, If I didn’t have your love to make it real.”

One of the real things about life is that watching other people, many whom we love, suffer because of what we have done, takes all the goodness of life from us.

So we pray with the Psalmist Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me; do not let those who seek you be dishonoured because of me….

For when others are put to shame or dishonoured because of our sins, the stain it leaves on them is not simply a matter of them healing. It is also necessary that the communities around them learn to free them of the shame they have put on them, and restore their honour to them.

That healing is much more complex and often nearly impossible.

So we pray, counting on the forgiveness of our sins, in the richness of God’s grace.

Grace upon grace from God, and through others empowered by the Holy Spirit, provides us our only hope in life,

that all may be well,

all may be well,

all manner of things may be well.

Even as the crap continues to fly all around us.

God’s Reach

Into And Around Us

Thursday, November 16, 2023

For Our Darkest Times,

God Works the Greatest Wonders

Light in our Nights of Dread.

Jeremiah 32:40

I will make an everlasting covenant with them, never to draw back from doing good to them; and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, so that they may not turn from me.

1 John 4:9

God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.

Words of Grace For Today

If we live thinking God does not matter, doing neither good nor bad, then our days will be more than dark. They will be desperately hopeless.

So that we do not fall into that despair, God works many wonders in and around us, in every generation.

Jeremiah reports that God makes a new covenant, an everlasting covenant (one that is valid still today!), so that God will always do good for us, and so that we will fear God and not turn from him.

Luther put it well that fear alone of God is miserable; one needs also the love of God so that one fears and loves God in all things.

Even when we have feared and loved God most of our lives there is no guarantee that we will be fully assured of God’s love in the next moment, facing the next awful challenges, challenges that threaten our very lives and the lives of those we love.

So that even then we can remember God’s good works for us, God sent Jesus to live among us, to live out a story that we tell even today, and a story that will be told until there are no more humans to tell it: Jesus came to live, teach, heal, and die for us in order to demonstrate blatantly how much God loves us.

When we remember how much God loves us then we can also remember to love God,

and then life is not so miserable,

for there is hope

for tomorrow

and beyond.

All Ears?

And No Brains?

Monday, November 13, 2023

All Eyes, Yet Totally Blind to the Light!

Is that us,

like many on earth these days

(as always?)

Isaiah 50:5

The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backwards.

John 10:16

I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

Words of Grace For Today

Sometimes we know we ought to not just pretend,

pretend to hear what is said to us,

to actually listen to

God’s Word.

On our own it is next to impossible.

Thankfully the Holy Spirit opens our ears, hearts and minds to hear, really hear, listen to and understand

God’s Word.

Like Love the Lord with all your heart, mind and strength. And love your neighbour as yourself (especially your enemy.)

Now that’s a word for every day, worth every little bit of effort we can give to listening, and then

pray like mad the Holy Spirit will enable us to actually hear it,

and live it.

That’s when things get beautiful

no matter how ugly people make the world around us and across the globe.

Angels for the Trickster?

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Shall This Place Then Be Called

Not ‘NearSite’ but

HereWalksGod’ or


Genesis 32:1-2

Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him; and when Jacob saw them he said, ‘This is God’s camp!’ So he called that place Mahanaim.

Hebrews 1:14

Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

Words of Grace For Today

Jacob, the trickster, after twenty years in hiding from Esau (from whom he stole his birthright), 14 serving Laban for his daughters and 6 for his flocks, sneaks away from Laban out of fear. Laban pursues him, and only a warning from God in a dream keeps Laban from doing Jacob harm. Instead they make a pillar of stones and make a covenant that neither will cross this point to do the other harm, nor will Jacob take other wives. Laban leaves Jacob, and Jacob continues on towards his birth home.

And then this passage: God’s angels meet Jacob so Jacob call the place Mahanaim, meaning two hosts or two camps.

If God sends angels to watch over and protect the trickster Jacob, then surely God sends angels to watch over each of his people, his broken and redeemed, sanctified people,

which is us.

Where will you see God or God’s angels watching, protecting, guiding you this day?


Look Again!

With Humility, this time.

Friday, November 10, 2023

An artist’s concept shows the Euclid space telescope, built by the European Space Agency (ESA) in operation, in this undated handout image. (European Space Agency/Reuters)

Euclid Starts Looking


Isaiah 5:21

Ah, you who are wise in your own eyes, and shrewd in your own sight! (Woe to you!)

1 Peter 5:5

In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’

Words of Grace For Today

From CBC news yesterday (Euclid Telescope):

“Dark matter and dark energy make up roughly 95 per cent of our universe but can’t be seen. In order to reveal their influence, over its six-year mission, the Euclid space telescope will observe the shapes, distances and motions of billions of galaxies out to 10 billion light-years and create the largest cosmic 3D map ever made….”

If ever there is an example of how arrogance and pride have no place in life, but how humility is the only manner for humans to approach all in life, it is in astronomy, especially these days with the Webb and now the Euclid Telescopes peering where we have always looked, yet now seeing more things than we ever could see before.

This is how it is in daily life as well, though perhaps less obviously so for us ‘wise’ and ‘proud’ people that we can be: What we were just looking at can be seen again, and it is completely different, revealing more of reality than we ever imagined before.

So God gives us eyes to see, and hearts to believe, and joy in trusting God to guide us, as we, even now remain more blind than seeing God’s universe all around us, God’s people all around us, God’s creation everywhere.

Every day is another opportunity to see anew what we thought we knew full well. Every day is chocked full of great delights, waiting for us to discover wonders of wonders. Unless of course pride has closed our eyes, hearts, and minds to what is and will sometime, maybe soon, be see-able and knowable by us.

(ESA/Euclid/Euclid Consortium/NASA; Image processing by J.-C. Cuillandre [CEA Paris-Saclay], G. Anselmi)

A new, spectacularly panoramic, and detailed view of the Horsehead Nebula.


Sigh, Again

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Morning Arrives,

The Crescent Moon Accompanied by A Star,

a helper light,

which is actually the planet Venus.

Psalm 31:23

Love the Lord, all you his saints. The Lord preserves the faithful, but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.

Romans 8:26

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.

Words of Grace For Today

The challenges of every day are more than enough to dampen our energy available to even cry for help to God. How does one pray when one’s loved one is gone, one’s world is ripped out from underneath one, and even in the morning the light does not help clarify where or what one really ought to do?

How does one pray when one’s home is destroyed and one survives only because one was away that day, working on a project that required it? Where does one go?

How does one pray when rumours, nasty and dirty rumours, are spread by deceitful, arrogant, fearful, cowardly bullies, and they grow so intense that people want to kill you?

How does one pray when everything seems to be okay also this day and yet your heart tells you that your life is doomed, maybe the whole world’s, maybe just those you love and all the honest and good people (if there are even any of those left!)?

When our light has been snuffed out by the chaos and hatred of people lost in their own darkness, we are not abandoned.

The Holy Spirit, with sighs too deep for words, blows in again as a fresh morning breeze, reviving us, and giving us the words for our prayers,

the priority of meaningful tasks for this day,

and a direction for our lives, even as we walk yet in darkness.

Like a sliver of a moon, with a companion star, walking the sky as the morning sun pushes back the darkness in the east, God winds us through our days, sometimes with just enough light so that we do not stumble

too often

and we can find once again

the light by which to love

even those who want to be our enemies.

Stoop Low

To Move Forward

Friday, November 3, 2023

The Sky May Be The Limit, Expansive and Inviting,


God Calls Us To Do The Work of the Kingdom

Down Here,

In The Snow and The Bushes of Life.

Zephaniah 2:3

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his commands; seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the Lord’s wrath.

Colossians 3:12

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

Words of Grace For Today

I was at a conference recently at a monastery dedicated to  teaching people to follow Christ to be leaders in the church.

In the long hallways between rooms & buildings looking ahead the door tops are at chest height. When one comes to the door, though, as the door opens by sliding down into the floor, after a slight delay the top also rises up higher than any person I’ve seen or heard of, and I’ve been among the Maasai – and I’ve watched NBA games.

The perception given is that following Christ does not offer lofty things in the future. One looks down looking forward. And just so there is no mistake as one passes through some doors about 20 feet further there is a beam at the same height as the closed doors. At these one must stoop low to pass onward.

The faith passed on to us does not promise us great things (as we humans rate them); our faith does not meet our dreams & expectations. Just the opposite. The saints show us that our faith teaches us to give up our dreams & expectations as we stoop low to pass through each day.

God’s surprise for us is what God does offer the saints, which we learn is ultimately everything of utmost value! Starting with humility, compassion, kindness, patience, service, and love.