How many times do we forget to “call upon the Lord”? Seeking after God is not an easy task for contemporary Christians, especially when there are so many distractions. What would it mean for us to seek after God?
Every human being is born to participate in life in the communities that surround us. We are social—relational—beings and spiritual beings. As relational beings, we build relationships with people around us every day. We often think of building a relationship as a social activity, but we can connect spiritually with one another regardless of religious affiliations.
The question becomes, “How do we build relationships when we are so different?” What concrete practices can we live out to connect with others as spiritual beings? Seeking God on this earth means having a spiritual practice of building relationships beyond differences.
People who create a supportive and harmonious atmosphere among others harvest the act of seeking God. After all, God reveals Godself through people. In our ever more diverse global context, language, class, gender, culture, race, and education could prevent us from deepening our relationships with others and could create friction among Christians.
However, we can connect with others by building positive energy intentionally and practicing simple principles as spiritual beings, such as being intentional in acknowledging differences, breaking out of a habit of stereotyping, allowing others to open the door to a new insight of life, and being responsive to changes. From this perspective, building a relationship itself is a spiritual practice of seeking God. It is because “otherness” is a point of the other side of God’s creation. In a multifaceted, pluralistic, and fast-paced global context, building relationships is essential to creating a livable community that seeks after God.
Living God, help us see the beauty of your creation in the “otherness” of people so that we may seek you. Amen.
Jeremiah’s warning of coming judgment continues. The children of Israel have become foolish, have ignored God, and have become good mainly at doing evil. God is going to respond to this situation. The psalmist describes the state of all who are foolish: they deny God and follow their own corrupt desires, including the oppression of the poor. The author of First Timothy, traditionally Paul, says that this was also his former way of life. He has been foolish and ignorant, a persecutor of the followers of Christ. In fact, he had been the worst of all sinners; yet Christ has shown him mercy, not judgment. Jesus tells two parables to reveal God’s heart. Rather than neglecting the ignorant, the foolish, and the lost, God searches to find each one of us.
Read Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28. How do your actions show others that you know God?
Read Psalm 14. When have you, like the psalmist, felt that no one knows God? How did you have faith that God would restore God’s people?
Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17. Recall a time when you felt unworthy of Christ Jesus’ full acceptance. How has that experience made you more grateful for Christ’s mercy?
Read Luke 15:1-10. In a world full of death and violence, how do you rejoice when God finds one lost person?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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