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Grace in the Desert

Great googa-mooga, can’t you hear me talking to you, just ball of confusion; That’s what the world is today, hey, hey —The Temptations, “Ball of Confusion”

It seems that things are being sifted through a zero-sum sieve. By things I mean things…life and all that it has to offer—from health to sports, from employment to love. And, by zero-sum sieve I mean the tendency to see things through a binary lens…things are black or white, either right or wrong, there are winners and there are losers, it’s us versus them.

Too often, those having differing views are viewed as the enemy. So, it would only make sense that my winning requires your losing. Even more, your losing is more important than my winning.

Evolution, revolution, gun control, sound of soul; Shooting rockets to the moon, kids growing up too soon; Politicians say more taxes will solve everything; And the band played on…

What has been confusing (troubling?) is the lack of a resoundingly clear and differing perspective from those of us claiming the mantle of salt and light. It seems more hands have been quicker to grip placards and espouse animus, despairing than those whose hands are wrapped-up and tied-up in the winding chain of Christ, filled with hope.

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.  —1st Timothy 2:1-3

“Pray? Only if it’s from the 109th Psalm!”

Disquiet is a rarely used word. It’s a word that had great relevance several millennia ago during the time of Jewish exile, and has great relevance today. Prayer seems more frequent and focused when those chosen by God were in less than ideal situations. Prayer is an essential and central part of faith. It’s the outpouring of the heart—from the created to the Creator. The subtle implication is that prayer is the means through which requests are made but a relationship is established and strengthened.

As God said through the Prophet Jeremiah,

This is the way God put it:

“They found grace out in the desert,

    these people who survived the killing.

Israel, out looking for a place to rest,

    met God out looking for them!”

God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will.

    Expect love, love, and more love!

And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again,

    dear virgin Israel.

You’ll resume your singing,

    grabbing tambourines and joining the dance.

You’ll go back to your old work of planting vineyards

    on the Samaritan hillsides,

And sit back and enjoy the fruit—

    oh, how you’ll enjoy those harvests!

The time’s coming when watchmen will call out

    from the hilltops of Ephraim:

‘On your feet! Let’s go to Zion,

    go to meet our God!’”

I am praying…really praying, and see a reason for hope and celebration before there is perceptible change.

Categories: Acts17seventeen

Pastor Mark

A p-k (preacher’s kid), Mark is the eighth of nine children born to Reuben and Henrietta Meeks, prolific planters of nearly 30 churches throughout the Central Valley of California. After four decades of teaching, discipling, and ministering, including to the hospitalized and imprisoned, Mark responded to God’s call to pastoral ministry. In addition to degrees in civil engineering and public administration, Mark received his Masters in Theology from Fuller Seminary.

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