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What is God Up To? How Can We help?

What is God Up To? How Can We help?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 — Week of Proper 13, Year Two

John Mason Neale, priest, 1866

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 979)

Psalms 78:1-39 (morning) 78:40-72 (evening)

Judges 7:1-18

Acts 3:1-11

John 1:19-28

[Go to for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

One of the constant themes of scripture is that God acts through us, and when our actions are consistent with what God is doing, God does marvelous things through us.

I have a friend who likes to summarize Christian life and mission this way: “Go out into the world awake and alert to see what it is that God is up to, and then ask, how can I participate? How can I help in whatever it is that God is already doing?”

The story of Gideon is a delightful folk tale of a great victory of a small group who overcome great odds. With courage and trustful obedience to God, they do something that defies their littleness. That is a constant theme of scripture. God raises up the little, the lost and the least and makes them the instrument for God’s amazing work.

In Acts, Peter and Paul enter the Temple at the 3:00 hour of prayer and encounter the lame man who begs for alms. They have no money for him, but they fix their attention upon him in the name and spirit of Jesus, and the man is healed. One who is dependent and paralyzed is given strength to walk.

And John who is baptizing in the wilderness, gives interpretation to his activity, defining himself modestly as one who is making straight the way of the greater one who is coming. John embraces his work within the greater scope of God’s intention.

Today is a new day. What is God up to and how can I participate? Though I am small and little, if I am united with God’s work, great things may happen. All it takes is a little courage and trustful obedience, and maybe a few friends with similar intent.

What needs will cross my path begging for my attention and for enough creativity that I might give more than just something superficial like money, but something more real, like a portion of the empowering spirit of Jesus?

How can I embrace my part in what God is doing? How can I prepare the way of the Lord? Each of us is called to prophecy and service, and that is a high calling. And, we are called to see that work modestly within the greater work of God.

The presumption is that God is doing great things and will use the little, the lost and the least to accomplish it.

How can we help?


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