United Church of Christ

Devotionals by Matthew Laney

Christianity has little to do with being a good person. The essence of the Christian faith is this: God loves us not because we are good but because God is good.


We can’t get through life without pain. From temporary toothaches to enduring heartbreaks, pain is part of the human condition.


Holy One, we pray to you from the belly of a pandemic. We don’t know how we will come out of this, but we pray we too will be converted.


It’s awkward to imagine the Holy One in underwear. But like tighty-whities, the Lenten journey is mostly a journey of subtraction, paring down, and clinging to nothing but God.


The cosmos is not separate from you or outside of you. You are it. You are God’s love. That’s what Jesus came to reveal, then and now.


Parents sometimes sacrifice children on the altars of our careers. Government sacrifices children on the altar of defense spending. God rejects child sacrifice—Abraham’s and ours.


Pointing out someone else’s hypocrisy is a great way to deflect attention from my own inconsistences. ‘Hey look! There’s a way bigger hypocrite over there!’


Revelation does not reveal the future. Revelation reveals us—exposes our privilege and proximity to power and, by God, offers a way out.


Don’t fall for the divine, dual-personality theory about God and the Bible. God is both gracious and wrathful, and we need God’s wrath as much as we need God’s grace.


I love advocacy and activism, but I’m not always motivated to do it, mostly because I’m comfortable. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit has something much better in mind than comfort.