Supporting a Standard (Even When We Fall Short)

At church this morning, we prayed this prayer from the bulletin: “Even as we invite your presence, O God, we recognize that your holiness confronts us in our humanness.  Our awareness of You reminds us of ways we have fallen short of being the persons, and communities, You have called us to be.  Forgive us in our human frailty, gracious Christ.  Renew us in our relationships with You, and with one another.  For You are the one who can do new things.  Amen.”

When I read this, my first thought was, “Well, that’s an understatement”, and I wasn’t thinking about my church (which is actually quiet friendly), but rather a lot of Christians I have encountered.

Then there was the devotional from Our Daily Bread that I read yesterday, which said the following:

“As we encounter the inhumanity, suffering, and sin that wreak havoc in our world, how do we respond?  If the heart of Christ breaks over the broken condition of our world, shouldn’t ours?  And shouldn’t we then do everything we can to make a difference for those in need, both spiritually and physically?”

When I read this, I thought, “I’m so tired of Christians telling me how to feel, as if feelings can even be commanded.”

But, in my opinion, it’s good to have ideals, whether or not we meet them perfectly, or even adequately.  Where would we be if people were not upholding compassion for others as a standard?  It’s better for people to try to be good, than not to try.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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