Kenneth Samuel: Making the Right Entrance

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise." - Psalm 100:4 

The famous line from the movie "Jerry Maguire" is remembered in the hearts of many. Upon the dramatic reunion of two estranged lovers, one says to the other: "You had me at hello." 

The attitude or mindset with which we enter any conversation is crucial. To a great degree, the success of any contract or covenant is determined by the degree of openness to compromise and the degree of willingness to cooperate that we bring to these enterprises. 

When people come to worship already grateful for the blessings of God and already cognizant of the movement of God in their lives, worship becomes a truly shared experience instead of a platform for individual performance. 

When warring nations come to the conference table with earnest respect for each other's right to exist, viable plans for co-existence are much more likely to be established and sustained. 

When our elected representatives go to Congress believing that compromise for the common good is actually more important than partisan loyalty, our nation is much better poised for economic and social progress. 

When people who have been torn apart by reckless misdeeds and grievous misunderstandings approach each other with the understanding that no relationship, family or community can function without forgiveness, the prospect of personal and collective peace becomes far less distant. 

The presence and the peace of God really never have to be invoked. We need only acknowledge and celebrate the amazing possibilities that God has already put in place. 


Dear God, upon our approach to every challenge and responsibility, touch our hearts and open our minds. Amen.

From UCC's Still Speaking Devotionals. Visit