Poured out

Therefore, my loved ones, just as you always obey me, not just when I am present but now even more while I am away, carry out your own salvation with fear and trembling. God is the one who enables you both to want and to actually live out his good purposes. Do everything without grumbling and arguing so that you may be blameless and pure, innocent children of God surrounded by people who are crooked and corrupt. Among these people you shine like stars in the world because you hold on to the word of life. This will allow me to say on the day of Christ that I haven’t run for nothing or worked for nothing. But even if I am poured out like a drink offering upon the altar of service for your faith, I am glad. I’m glad with all of you. You should be glad about this in the same way. Be glad with me! ~Philippians 2:12-18(CEB)

At a baptismal service recently, I was deeply impressed when the pastor did not dip his hand into a baptismal font already filled with water. Instead he took a pitcher, lifted his arm above his head, and poured the water into the font, creating a small waterfall. As he poured, he gave us scriptural verses on the water of life as a direct, loving energy from God that blesses and heals and flows from within us, through us, beyond us.

We begin to see our daily acts of love as flowing like a river from our center, and poured out on the dry and needy lands around us. Our actions become not willpower but released gestures of pouring, flowing.

When the woman of Bethany came to Jesus and poured precious ointment on his head, it was a released gesture of generous love. ‘She has done a beautiful thing to me,’ said Jesus to those who were scandalized at such an act.

To do a ‘beautiful thing’ to God in released, responsive love is intended to be the only source for the Christian’s words and actions. As one of my students once said to me, ‘The Christian is release from perfectionism to being a love of life.’” ~From Release by Flora Slosson Wuellner

Lord of life and love, help me to worship You in the holiness of beauty, that some beauty of holiness may appear to me. Quiet my soul in Your presence with the stillness of a wise trust. Lift me above dark moods, and the shadow of sin, that I may find Your will for my life; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen

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