Daily Dose, Oct. 24 — Whole Life & Holy Living

           
"Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!" (1 Peter 4:7-5 (The Message) Do you honor God with your relationships? Do you offer your relationships to God, trusting and praying that he will be present within them? One thing that I’m blessed to do as part of my vocation is to officiate at wedding ceremonies. It really has been a pleasure over the years to stand at the altar with dozens of couples who are pledging their lives to one another. As a part of that celebration, we always spend time in the weeks leading up to the wedding ceremony in some counseling sessions. In my first sit-down session with couples, before we ever talk about anything else, I bring up the word “sacrament.” Remember that word from yesterday? It means “a visible sign of God’s invisible grace.” A premarital counseling session may seem like an odd place to use the word sacrament. But to me, it’s always made complete sense. (And to be fair, our brothers and sisters within the Catholic Church recognize and celebrate marriage as an official sacrament.) When I think of situations that provide opportunities to show and receive grace, relationships come to mind. Taken a step further, committed relationships like marriage lend themselves to this understanding as we’re often figuring out how to live sacrificially and gracefully with our spouse. We get it wrong…but then other times we actually get it right! If God’s goodness and grace isn’t being lived out in our own close relationships, then why should we bother?? Forgiveness and grace are meant to be given away, not stored up like a treasure meant only for us. I believe wholeheartedly that if we are genuinely seeking to follow Christ, grace WILL be present in those close relationships. At times, it may only be present through us, because we aren’t in control of the other person. But it will be present nonetheless. --Rev. Brad Greene