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Readings for Reflection: November 2006
from the Committee on Ministry and Counsel

Some Friendly Quotations & Queries on Faith & Action

1. Ye are my Friends if you do whatsoever I command you.     (John 15:14)

2. Then did the Kingdom of Heaven catch us all as in a net. … We came to know a place to stand in and what to wait in; and the Lord appeared daily to us to our astonishment, amazement and great admiration… And from that day forward, our hearts were knit unto the Lord and one unto another in true and fervent life in the covenant of Life with God.     (Francis Howgill, c. 1660)

3. Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.     (Britain YM Advices & Queries)

4. I have never felt a lightning-bolt message from God. Rather, truth seems to be revealed gradually, piece by piece in the midst of action.     (Paraphrase from a speech – Henry Cadbury, Philadelphia YM)

5. We all know well that we are weak, but our encouragement is that when we are weak, the weakness we have can be the point of opportunity for God to reveal God's strength in us and through us. We can be a precious tool or a vessel for God to use.     (Susumu Ishitani, Japan YM)

6. Contemplation and action … each cannot exist without the other. When we fail to hold the paradox together, … both ends fly apart into madness. Action flies off into frenzy— a frantic and even violent effort to impose one's will on the world. … Contemplation flies off into escapism—a flight from the world into a realm of false bliss.     (Parker Palmer, Northern YM)

7. If we have ears to hear and a heart ready to listen to the response of God in our lives, then he will answer us as he did the prophet: "The righteous will live by faith" (Habakkuk 2:4). Here faith has the meaning of action, of movement; it is a way of life. But it also implies a trust, a patience, and a hope that mobilizes our energy.     (Heredio Santos, Cuba YM)

8. As Friends, let us allow our hearts to become imbued with divine love so that we may wash away in the ocean of light of which George Fox spoke, all the dark sins of egotism, prejudice, judgement and the barriers of ideology.     (Nelson Salinas, Philadelphia YM)

9. Wild wind of the Holy Spirit blow to us. Let us welcome her, letting ourselves go in the wild rhythm of her love. Come Holy Spirit, renew the whole creation.     (Chung Hyuan Kyung, Korea)

Suggested Queries for Reflection on Interconnections between Faith and Action.

1. Do I strive for humility and love? Do I value service rather than achievement?

2. Have I ever felt a strong leading from God to act? How did I test and follow the leading?

3. In the midst of my work, how do I make sure I am still following the Light?

4. Do I really hear the good news of release from everything that keeps me captive to "the world's" values such as materialism, individualism, competition, and success?

All Readings for Reflection
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