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Archive for the ‘Sunday Quotes’ Category

In each of our lives, grace tries to intrude continually, attempting to shape our story into an infinitesimal but uniquely valuable part of God’s story. God can certainly do very well without any one of us. That’s a message the Reformed heritage has proclaimed with vigor. But God also delights in each one of us.

When we ask what to do about Jesus, we are invited into an inner, transformative journey that allows the unique combination of DNA that shapes our being to be joined with the foundational movement of God’s love. This seeks to shape the world into the home of God’s glory. And for any one of us, that is a story worth telling.

— Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, “Rediscovering Jesus,” from Unexpected Destinations

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Shaping our world is never for a Christian a matter of going out arrogantly thinking we can just get on with the job, reorganizing the world according to some model that we have in mind. It is a matter of sharing and bearing the pain and puzzlement of the world so that the crucified love of God in Christ may be brought to bear healingly upon the world at exactly that point.

Because Jesus bore the cross uniquely for us, we do not have to purchase forgiveness again; it’s been done. But because, as he himself said, following him involves taking up the cross, we should expect, as the New Testament tells us repeatedly, that to build on his foundation will be to find the cross etched into the pattern of our life and work over and over again.

— N.T. Wright, The Challenge of Jesus

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Is there anything more pure, more full of wonder and hope for the future, than the prayer of a child? We find it difficult to imagine what that might be. For a child’s heart, when it forms a prayer of thanks or praise or petition, has none of the self-consciousness and ambivalence of adulthood; it is a laser beam of light and love — focused, clear, and burning with urgency.

— Gregory and Suzanne Wolfe, Circle of Grace

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It takes spiritual discipline to forgive others; it takes a different, though related, spiritual discipline to forgive myself, to echo within my own heart the glad and generous offer of forgiveness which God holds out to me and which, if I’m fortunate, my neighbor holds out to me as well.

Here, too, my sense of self-worth comes not from examining myself and discovering that I’m not so bad after all but from gazing at God’s love and discovering that nothing can stand between it and me. …

This astonished and grateful acceptance of the free grace and love of God is what some traditions have meant when they echoed Paul’s language about “justification by faith.”

— N.T. Wright, Evil and the Justice of God

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God does not compartmentalize our lives into religious and secular. Why do we? I want to insist on a continuity of language between the words we use in Bible studies and the words we use when we’re out fishing for rainbow trout.

I want to cultivate a sense of continuity between the prayers we offer to God and the conversations we have with the people we speak to and who speak to us. I want to nurture an awareness of the sanctity of words, the holy gift of language, regardless of whether it is directed vertically or horizontally.

Just as Jesus did.

— Eugene Peterson, Tell it Slant

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What happens in prayer is that an awareness develops: a lot more is going on the world than I am conscious of when I am disappointed, or hurt, or frustrated, or embittered. The feelings that I have at any one moment, while important and actual cannot be interpreted accurately apart from the context of God’s action.

Meditation is an intensification of awareness, of perception. When the focus of meditation is narrowly bound by feelings of self-pity, the self in isolation, the result is an intensification of misery. But if the focus is on God in the self, on God  in history, on God in creation, the result is a magnification of grace.

 — Eugene Peterson, Where Your Treasure Is

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When we squander life on anything less than the God revealed in Jesus and made present in the Spirit, we miss out on life itself, resurrection life, the life of Jesus. …

Ephesians is a resurrection document. It trains us in understanding ourselves as saints, not saints in the sense of haloed exceptions to garden-variety Christians, but simply Christians who realize that Jesus’ resurrection places us in a position to live robustly in the world of the Holy, growing up in Christ, practicing resurrection. …

The Christian life was never intended to be a conventional, cautious, careful, tiptoeing-through-the-tulips way of life, avoiding moral mud puddles, staying out of trouble, and hopefully accumulating enough marks for good behavior to insure us a happy hereafter. And the church was never intended to be a subculture specializing in holiness, sanctification, or perfection. The Holy is not a specialist activity.

— Eugene Peterson, Practice Resurrection

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