Thought for the Day: I was fascinated recently when I started to do some online research about calming down a tense situation. I was looking for a Christ-centered approach. The first 40 or 50 search results were all Christian websites about reducing your personal stress. I don’t want to dismiss the importance of trying to reduce the stress in our lives. And in fact, the less stressed we are the better chance of bringing a spirit of calm to those around us. Yet each of these websites felt very self-serving, making Christianity into some sort of emotional spa for personal escapism. It was very troubling. Don’t get me wrong – it is essential for us to find what sets us off, what triggers within us anxiety and stress. Working on the self is always important, but shouldn’t we always seek self improvement for the greater good of the community and God’s purpose in the world? God wants each of us to live in the knowledge and experience of unconditional love, yet once we have claimed that gift then it is time to help others come to that realization. Following Jesus, the one born in Bethlehem, is not simply about me feeling a little less stressed. It is about bringing the collective tension down so that more and more people can live in peace.
Prayer: Holy God, let me be an instrument of your peace in the world. Yes, let it begin with me. And then let it spread to those whose lives I encounter each day. Amen.
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Rev. Bruce Frogge