Daily Prayer 365

Day 291
Sunday, June 18, 2023


“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. —Matthew 18:15–18

In a lot of ways, it is a real nuisance to belong to a family. It would be so much easier if we were just a bunch of individuals, loosely bound by similar beliefs but whose affairs remained an essentially private matter between us and God. But according to Jesus, there is no such thing as privacy in the family of God. Our life together is the chief means God has chosen for being with us, and it is of ultimate importance to God. Our life together is the place where we are comforted, confronted, tested, and redeemed by God through one another. It is the place where we come to know God or to flee from God’s presence, depending upon how we come to know or flee from one another…to confront and make up, to forgive and seek forgiveness, to heal and be healed—to throw a block party smack in the deserted center of hell and fill the place with such music and laughter, such merriment and mutual affection that all the far-flung residents come creeping in from their distant outposts to see what the fuss, the light, the joy is all about. —Barbara Brown Taylor, Family Fights

Bind us together, O God, so that our life together brings comfort, forgiveness, healing and laughter, the balm and light and joy of creation. Amen. —The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

June 20, 2023

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