Pause

Enter into this time of prayer.

Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage.

Breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose. Feel your torso expand. Breathe out slowly.

Thank God for the gift of Life inside of you.

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Listen

What does the scripture say? Abraham had faith in God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Workers’ salaries aren’t credited to them on the basis of an employer’s grace but rather on the basis of what they deserve. But faith is credited as righteousness to those who don’t work, because they have faith in God who makes the ungodly righteous.

Romans 4:3-5

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Think

Thank goodness for Eugene Peterson, whose colloquial and intimate translation of the Bible, The Message, brings clarity and understanding to seemingly impenetrable texts like this one.

As Peterson interprets the text, this is a God-story, not an Abraham-story: “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.”

Think about a difficult situation you’ve been in recently, a situation that was too big or too hard for you. Now, imagine that this situation is something that only God can do, and you trust God to do it. Trusting God to do it puts God in the middle of the story instead of ourselves. That makes this a God-story, not a You-story. Thank God for that!

Sarah McCaslin

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Pray

God, I thank you for being at my side even in those moments when I think I can do it all by myself. God, I pray that I will become better at getting out of my own way and letting you in! Amen.

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Go

God’s one-of-a-kind job description is that God actually uses our problems to lead us to the full solution. God is the perfect Recycler, and in the economy of grace, nothing is wasted, not even our worst sins and our most stupid mistakes.

Richard Rohr in A Lever and a Place to Stand (2012)

Sarah McCaslin

Sarah McCaslin is a licensed psychotherapist and ordained Presbyterian pastor in New York City.

Come, Thou Almighty King

John Morton

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