Happy Monday, my friends! Last year I was invited to present at the Conference for All People sponsored by the Church and Community Development for All People. As a “thank you” gift they gave me a bag with a few different items including the book Hero for Christ: 30 Ways You Can Be More Like Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Twenty Other World Changing Christians by Christopher Sunami. While I promise we won’t go through all 30 propositions, starting today I will be drawing inspiration from some of these points. Sunami begins with “Put God First.”
Put God first. That’s a statement that’s beautifully simple and fantastically complex at almost the same time. Many of us immediately think about how we do or do not put God first during our daily lives. Then some among us <raises my own hand> begin to think “whose God” are we considering? The God of the church and church expectations? The God who, like Santa Claus, watches our every move? Or the God who is not all that worried about some drinking and swearing, but is very worried about how we act in community and if/how we show up for justice?
Sunami makes the point that our relationship with God must be our relationship: “No one else can have your relationship with God for you. As good as it is to be around others who have a relationship with God, none of their relationships can be a substitute for your own. Even if your mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife, pastor, or priest has a relationship with God, you will still need to seek one for yourself.” This relationship might be a long-standing commitment, or it might be more of an understanding at this point or even a vague notion, but it needs to be ours. We need to claim our connection to the divine.
What is your relationship like with God? Does anyone other than you inform your relationship with God?
Let us pray: Wherever we are in our relationship with you, God, help us make our relationship with you alone. When our relationship is informed by trauma, abuse, and bad theology, help us find our way to you alone. When our relationship is based on other people’s expectations, help us find our way to you alone. When our relationship is tinged by what the church, pastors, priests, and others have told us about you, help us find our way to you alone. When our relationship is so distant that it is an understanding or a notion, help us find our way to you alone. When our relationship is close and mutual, still help us find our way to you alone. We ask this because someone taught us that you wanted to have a relationship with us. Amen.
Blessings on your weeks, my friends. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.