Tag Archives: judgment

Judgment of People, and Psalm 50

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, July 30, 2017

PowerPoint Presentation

Judgment of People, and Psalm 50

As I read this sermon outline from Advent 1935 written by Bonhoeffer, I get little whispers of things to come. Premonitions of fearful and horrible things. The Nazi regime in Germany was becoming repressive, even as early as December 1935.

The troubling backdrop for this earnest sermon writing of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s causes a lump to form in my throat. Bonhoeffer’s biographer Eberhard Bethge was also troubled: “The Protestant Church was not in the habit of opposing state legislation, but from 1935 onwards it was becoming increasingly clear that resistance would have to be offered.” [1]

(As I said, troubling times, indeed.)

The sermon taken from Psalm 50 was written to highlight God’s best. Even though there were many trials coming at the reader because of the German government, the secret seminary persisted. Bonhoeffer already thought it courageous to stand against the Nazi regime. And, God preaching to the government was something fearful people would gravitate toward.

Dear Lord, Bonhoeffer seemed to be strong and courageous in the 1930’s, with more possibilities to expand horizons. This sermon outline is heartening. I hope and pray my church (in Morton Grove) to allow considerable freedom. O, God who reveals Godself to us, help each of us to praise You, and praise all creation of Your hands. Thank You for God’s loving kindness to each of us. O God, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.



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

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 62.

Judgment, No. Compassion, Yes.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, December 6, 2015

BK kindness is an attitude

Judgment, No. Compassion, Yes.

Today’s reading seems—at first glance—to be somewhat disturbing. Why on earth would I want to die to my neighbor? Great question!

Fr. Nouwen explains that the Desert Fathers say that solitude gives birth to compassion because “it makes us die to our neighbor.” [1] In other words, “in order to be of service to others we have to die to them; that is, we have to give up measuring our meaning and value with the yardstick of others.” [2]

This is so profound. Compassion comes through service. And, service is necessarily self-less. Thinking of self less and less, and concentrating on the other more and more. I have a great desire to give service to others. To help, and to be kind to others. I tried to do this, intentionally, each day in the year 2014. (And, I blogged about it, at A Year of Being Kind )

Another way of viewing this is when I judge others and cold-heartedly evaluate and look down on others, I am thinking of myself (and my Self) more and more. If I really want to be with others, to be a companion and a friend to them, I need to hang out with others on a regular basis, and not isolate. Not be all alone.

I really appreciate the Advent Action for today: “A follower of St. Anthony, Abba Moses, gives this instruction: ‘Do not let dislike dominate your heart.’ Make a short list of those whom you dislike, even surreptitiously. Choose one person to expunge from your negative thoughts.”

This is excellent advice. Since I am familiar with the Twelve Steps of Recovery, this action goes hand in glove with a large part of the Recovery program. Dislike is close cousin to resentment. It’s always hurtful and harmful to maintain a resentment and a dislike.

Dear God, help me lose my resentments and dislikes. Please. Help me be more loving, giving and serving to others. So, help me, God.


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

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

[1] Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Linguori, Missouri: Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2004), 16.

[2] Ibid.