My devotional for this year has been Henri Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey.

He was a renegade Catholic priest, which influenced some of his thoughts (that I have issues with).  See October 6th’s entry on communion:

When we gather around the Eucharistic table and eat from the same bread and drink from the same cup, saying “This is the Body and Blood of Christ”, we become the living Christ, here and now.

I disagree with that, not being a transubstantiationist myself.  But there are other times when he pegs it, illuminating the scripture in a life-changing way.  See June 19th’s entry, The Fruit of the Spirit:

How does the Spirit of God manifest itself through us?  Often we think that to witness means to speak up in defense of God.  This idea can make us very self-conscious.  We wonder where and how we can make God the topic of our conversations and how to convince our families, friends, neighbors, and colleagues of God’s presence in their lives.  But this explicit missionary endeavor often comes from an insecure heart and, therefore, easily creates divisions.

The way God’s Spirit manifests itself most convincingly is through its fruit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22).  These fruit speak for themselves.  It is, therefore, always better to raise the question “How can I grow in the Spirit?” rather than the question “How can I make others believe in the Spirit?”

Zam pow.  Straight in the kisser.  If that doesn’t address some of my concerns, then I’m not reading with my eyes (and heart) open. And July 8th’s Wounded Healers

Nobody escapes being wounded.  We are all wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.  The main question is not “How can we hide our wounds?” so we don’t have to be embarrassed but “How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?”  When our wounds cease to be a source of shame and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.

Jesus is God’s wounded Healer: Through His wounds we are healed.  Jesus’ suffering and death brought joy and life.  His humiliation brought glory; His rejection brought a community of love.  As followers of Jesus we can also allow our wounds to bring healing to others.

This one hit home.  At times I feel like I am damaged goods, that God can’t use me.  I forget that each and every person, except Jesus, has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Me, Bettie, Billy Graham, Paul the Apostle.  It’s not being perfect that’s important – it’s letting God work through the imperfections, through the humanity.

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