Reading: Isaiah 48:1-12
Why bother with prayer, if it seems that God doesn't answer? Why bother with kindness and justice, if God has allowed the whole world to fall to its own worst devices? We hesitate to ask such questions aloud, for fear of revealing our doubts, for fear of confessing that we measure faith by its achievements and rewards. If our faith is strong, shouldn't we feel strong and continuously thankful and tranquil through life's storms?
But the practice of faith, as God reminds us in Isaiah 48, is not intended for personal gain or spiritual contentment. The purpose of faith is to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry, to shelter the homeless, to reconcile ourselves to one another, to impact justice in the world. The purpose of faith is to bear God's tangible love to the world.
Then and there, as we live and work and aid one another in love, we will find the abundance of God's presence and the satisfaction of our own spiritual longing. --Rachel Hackenberg, United Church of Christ Minister and former Camp Mount Luther Staff Member
Prayer: Be gentle and forgiving of me in my restlessness, O God. Invite me to take my faith beyond myself, to live boldly with love each day.
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