Last night — we had canvas group (which others would call small group) at our duplex. It was a nice evening. It was enjoyable, because sometimes you just have those kind of days where you need community. You need to be around others who are going through the same kind of things that you are going through — whether that be relationship stuff, financial worries, concerns about the future, things from the past — in other words… simply life.
A couple of people brought up ‘faith’ issues they were wrestling with — simply trying to find God in the midst of the craziness of Los Angeles. In the midst of traffic, underperforming schools, working with people with wild life values & morals that are much different than your own, the crazy cost of living out here, etc. etc.
We broke down into real small cell-groups, and as it turned out it was Michelle, Julio and I. It was nice to hear that others are going through the same faith challenges that I am going through, and that a person is not alone in all of this.
Then this morning I read this…
11 Sing praises to the LORD who reigns in Jerusalem.Ã‚Â£
Tell the world about his unforgettable deeds.
12 For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless.
He does not ignore those who cry to him for help.
13 LORD, have mercy on me.
See how I suffer at the hands of those who hate me.
Snatch me back from the jaws of death.
Eugene Peterson: There are conditions in life that seem only a cruel prelude to death. The afflicted, the needy, and the poor huddle at the ‘gates of death’ and read only one message: ‘Abandon hope all ye who enter here’ (Dante, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, Canto III). Here is another message: “Sing praises to the LORD who reigns in Jerusalem… for He does not ignore those who cry to him for help.”
Prayer: Regardless, O God, of the desperate straits in which we find ourselves, you have shown yourself willing & able to come to our rescue. For this I praise you — for your mercy, your compassion, your strength. In Jesus’ name. Amen.