As children of God, we often feel like there is a clear-cut list of dos and don'ts. But in reality, we live our days in gray areas where the rules are not always evident. We create great expectations and routinely let ourselves down. Perhaps we should go back to the source and look beyond our own expectations to the One who calls, claims, forgives, and loves us to the end. Let's journey together to see how this might look for us today.next >
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: “What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’? If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?” No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.
Matthew 22: 41-46next >
Sometimes we expect to have all the answers or be able to attain the true meaning, especially when it comes to knowing and understanding the Christian faith. It’s not always easy to live into the mystery, those parts of our faith that call for hope and belief in things unseen.
It is easier to try and put God into a formula, especially when the expectation at school is to understand, memorize, and use specific formulas or methods. Those make sense; oftentimes our faith and the great Christian story do not. Christianity cannot be categorized into easy answerable questions all the time.
Living into the "gray areas" of our faith and wrestling with the parts that seem too mysterious or too impossible to be true can be downright hard! Perhaps today, let go a bit and release the impulse to understand everything or take everything at its literal meaning. Live into the mystery and see where God moves you to go.
Leslie Manningnext >
Holy Spirit, move in my heart and help me to be open to your great mystery. Help me to reflect upon the beauty and awesomeness of the Trinity and ease my anxieties and fears about the answers to the big questions of life and faith. Gently guide me through these questions and open my heart to your mysteries and grace.next >
“Go forth into the world in peace.
Be strong and of good courage.
Hold fast to that which is good.
Render to no one evil for evil.
Strengthen the fainthearted.
Support the weak.
Help the afflicted.
Honor all persons.
Love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit
and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
be among you and remain with you now and forever. Amen.”
—The Rt. Rev. Duncan M. Gray, II
Leslie Manning currently serves as the Director of the Sawyerville Day Camp ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. Prior to this role, Leslie served at a number of parishes and the diocese as a youth minister. Leslie also serves as a consultant for the national consulting firm, Ministry Architects. Leslie is married to the Rev. Bentley Manning and has a three year old daughter, Mary Bentley, and two smelly dogs. They all reside in Birmingham.
Speak to Us, Oh Christ