John 21:15 (New American Standard Bible)
So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Tend My lambs.”
It's one thing to goof. But it's another thing to do it in front of a stadium full of people! In their book OOPS (The Rutledge Press, 1981), authors Richard Smith and Edward Decter tell of such slip-ups. One occurred during a soccer match between two Brazilian teams. The first goal was scored within three seconds after kickoff. What made the score particularly hard for the team's fans to take was the fact that it was made while their goalie was still on one knee with head bowed in prayer.
There is certainly a time for prayer, but this poor man learned the hard way that there is also a time for action. In fact, both are necessary in a well-lived life. As Gandhi once said, "I have so much to accomplish today, I will have to meditate two hours instead of one."
Often, however, the best spirituality begins with the prayer of the heart, then moves to that prayer which is lived throughout the rest of the day.
Several years ago a bomb was detonated outside the huge oak doors of a Greek Catholic church in Jerusalem. The heavy doors were blown inward so that they careened up to the front of the sanctuary and destroyed the chancel area. Windows were blown out, pews were destroyed and the balcony collapsed.
Dr. Ken Bailey, a Presbyterian missionary scholar and friend of the priest of the Greek church, stopped by to assess the damage. It took little time to determine that the priest was in shock and unable to make necessary decisions. So Dr. Bailey took it upon himself to ask seminary administrators at the school where he taught to close classes and he invited students to join him in helping the priest. They cleaned the church and boarded the windows to prevent looting.
The next day, Bailey again called on his friend. The maid confided in him that the priest did not cry at the bomb's destruction. However, she added, "He did cry when you and your friends helped clean up the mess it made."
Dr. Bailey has since remarked, "I did not teach any theology that afternoon -- or did I?" If theology is about love in action, he held one of his best classes that day.
The truth is...faith is never so beautiful as when it has its working clothes on.
Dear Lord we pray today that we would put our faith in action and do the work that You have for us to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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