Tag Archives: Genesis

Reaching God through My Righteousness? Umm . . .

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, April 23, 2015

Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis

Reaching God through My Righteousness? Umm . . .

When my third daughter was a little girl, a preschooler, we would go to the park. There would be swings, and she’d dash to them. Hopping on, she would pump and go higher and higher. “Mom, look! I’m going up to the sky! I’ll reach the moon soon! I’ll reach as high as God!” I would laugh, and encourage her to pump as high as she could. (A daredevil, that one.)

When I read the passage from the liturgical lectionary prayer book today, I found it came from Galatians 2:11-21. As my eye settled on 2:21, I noticed “if righteousness were possible under the Law then Christ died for nothing.”

My daughter tried to reach up to the sky. Reach up to God. The first thing I thought of as I read the second chapter of Galatians was the Tower of Babel from Genesis. The people who built the Tower were trying to touch the sky. Trying to reach as high as God.

In this passage, the Apostle Paul relates a situation where the Apostle Peter tried to be extra-, super-cautious and thereby discriminated against a smaller, minority group among the believers. Peter was trying to convince Gentile believers that they had to eat and drink and live in the same way and according to the same laws as Jewish believers.

The Gentile believers trying to reach God by “acting Jewish” was just as foolish as the people at the Tower of Babel building the tower high enough so that they could try to reach God. And just as foolish (and sweet!) as my preschool-aged daughter declaring that she was going to pump so high on the swing that she would be able to reach up to God.

Praise God, we do not need to twist ourselves into knots in order to satisfy some legalistic Pharisee. God is gracious. Here is Paul’s prayer, in verse 2:20; it’s even been set to music.

I’ll say it over and over again. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. Like, right here and now, in today’s lectionary reading. Praise God, indeed.


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Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Day #3 – In the Garden? In Prayer!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, February 19, 2015

fresh vegetables

Day #3 – In the Garden? In Prayer!

As I read today’s suggestion, I remembered something I had been thinking about, a few months ago. Having a community garden at our church.

Let me back up. In today’s reading (in 40acts: Act #3), I read about an empty lot at the end of a road. Formerly a dumping ground, a forlorn piece of useless property, it has been transformed. Cleared out, cleaned up and planted with some fruit trees, this community orchard is now a lovely area! All because some people got together, cared about the property, had a viable plan, and carried it out.

That’s what this 40acts of generosity and kindness is all about! Each day, a generous suggestion is put forward. Today, the suggestion is to 1) clean up an outside area and 2) plant!

Today’s act is, as the Day # 3 post says, being generous to our environment. Helping the world to be a more beautiful place in which to live. What a wonderful thing to do! Just as God gave humanity the world at the beginning—in Genesis—for humans to tend and take care of, so I am urged to be a good steward and clean up, clear out a little area. Even a larger area, and see whether I can make the area more beautiful.

As I mentioned when I began this post, I had been thinking about doing this exact thing: starting a small community garden at our church. We have a good amount of land, and this could be a great thing for the area food pantry! The vegetables grown in the church’s garden could go to support the food pantry.

I’ve seen similar, raised box gardens in my area, with chicken wire around the perimeter of the boxes. (So rabbits and other varmints won’t be as likely to munch on the growing vegetables.) The garden spaces are three feet by six feet, or four feet by eight feet. Sounds like a great possibility! Pray with me, that I can get some interest in the box gardens.

I hope so. I pray so. God, may it be so!


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.

(also published at www.matterofprayer.net