Many people live a clean, upright Christian life, following the rules, never missing church, and believing that they are blessed because of appropriate behavior. . . . Then some event or experience shatters their worldview: a death in the family, a divorce, being fired, getting sick, experiencing clinical depression, having a child that makes destructive choices, falling in love with someone outside of the faith, coming out about sexuality, or some other cataclysm.
In the middle of the chaos, these “good” and richly blessed people often realize the complete inadequacy of their former vision of God, themselves, their church, and their world. . . . Compassion and solidarity with others who suffer in the same way they suffer comes to the fore, even if the others are not the “right” religion or have made poor moral choices. As the illusion of control over their own lives falls away, they open to the mystery of a God who is more present, more merciful, and more vulnerable than they ever imagined.
—Elaine A. Heath, God Unbound: Wisdom from Galatians for the Anxious Church (Upper Room Books, 2016)
What experiences have broadened your view of God? Join the conversation.
[Jesus said,] “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
—Matthew 5:6 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Holy God, thank you for the many expressions of church that are available to us today. Help us to remember that we are your beloved children. Guide us to love one another and to remain faithful to you through prayer and other spiritual practices. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Join our global community of prayer. The Upper Room Prayer Wall is a place for people to connect — with each other and with God. Leave your prayer requests, and become a Prayer Partner to pray for people all over the world. Visit UpperRoom.org/prayer.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.