Simply put, “For Ignatius, the ebb and flow of consolation and desolation is the normal path of the Christian life.” There will be times of consolation – when there is a sense of noticeable, personally experienced growth or blossoming, when God’s presence seems close and the means of grace seem easy and quick at hand. There will also be times of desolation – similar to the “dark night of the soul” – when, whether from wrongdoing, or attacks of the enemy, or times of struggle or challenge, God’s presence seems distant or even simply absent, when our growth seems stalled or the habits that sustain us feel unusually heavy.
Preachers tend to have favorite passages and topics for preaching and teaching. If you don’t preach from the Revised Common Lectionary each week, it can be easy to fall into predictable patterns that limit your congregation’s exposure to the full range of God’s Word. We all have blind spots, and it’s worth asking where we might be missing the opportunity to address a pressing need.
“I do not always understand the mystery of prayer, but I know its power.”
“Asbury’s zeal for God and his commitment to preach and teach the gospel is now legendary, but it was never meant to be extraordinary – it was meant to be the ordinary work of everyday Methodists.”
“You are not yet who you will be.
You are still on a journey. Your trip is not complete. There is work left to do in your life. There is work that God still has to do with you and through you. As long as you are still breathing and living, God is still at work on you.”
“Nehemiah is faced with the news that the walls and gates of Jerusalem have been destroyed, leaving the city’s inhabitants vulnerable. What are some things in your life that need to be rebuilt? Are you ready to ask God to show you something that is in need of repair?”
“The ordinances of God are the fundamentals of how we get initiated into faith. Repetitive practice and exposure to prayer, worship, Scripture reading and study, the Eucharist and even the lost discipline of fasting all help to mature us as Christian disciples.”
“I’ve discovered that there is a tremendous difference between easiness and simplicity.”
‘Whenever we recognize who God is, we are praising him.”
“More than just building a tower, the people of Babel wanted to build a reputation for themselves. They wanted others to recognize their intelligence and skill and to admire them. Abraham, on the other hand, didn’t seem that interested in making a name for himself. He was happy to follow God, to obey God’s calling, and to entrust his reputation to God. God took care of Abraham’s reputation and made his name great.”