Monday of Easter V – Prayer of the Week

O God, You make the minds of Your faithful to be of one will. Grant that we may love what You have commanded and desire what You promise, that among the many changes of this world our hearts may be fixed where true joys are found; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

“I’m not sure I want to go to heaven,” she whispered, in a conspiratorial tone, looking about to make sure no one else heard her. “It seems so boring!” The young woman who said this had grown up in a faithful Christian home. She had always believed in Jesus. She liked being a Christian, but she was having a problem with heaven. The thought of singing in a choir in what looked like an eternal church service was not exciting to her.

Is it exciting to you? It isn’t really all that exciting to me either. I like worship. I like going to Church, but I am also glad to get home after services and spend a little time on the patio reading or going for a walk. I am glad that on Monday I get to do something different.

This prayer asks God to grant us to desire what he promises. Have you ever struggled with a promise of God? Does he offer you something that you are not so sure you want? I am honestly glad if you do. I thought the young woman who confided in me was wonderful. She had certainly thought about what she had heard. She took it seriously. If you are not bothered by some of the things that God has promised, perhaps you have not listened carefully enough. In her case, we talked about what it was that God had actually promised. The Sunday School imagery of her childhood which suggested an eternal church service is not at all what God has promised. Yes, we will worship God in heaven, but it is Eden restored, a beautiful place where there are adventures and tasks and things to taste and see. But not all of God’s promises are simply a matter of adjusting our expectations. Sometimes God’s promises are hard to desire. Sometimes Jesus’ promise to be with us makes us afraid. It almost sounds a little like “Big Brother” in Orwell’s novel. God has some work to do with us. Our hearts and our minds are often twisted out of shape by sin. Pray that God creates in you a new and clean heart and renews a right spirit that you may desire all his promises!

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