Readings and Reflections for Wednesday 23 January 2019: Epiphany

Part 1of 2

AM Psalm 38; PM Psalm 119:25-48
Isa. 44:24-45:7; Eph. 5:1-14; Mark 4:1-20

Mark

“And he said to them, ‘To you has been given the secretof the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that “they may indeed look, but not perceive,
and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.” ’ (Mark 4:11 – 12)

This is a clue that in order to hear what the Spirit is saying to us through Biblical readings, that we must look deep beneath the surface of the literal text.  Truth is veiled in parable because truth requires the work necessary to get the reward.  Those who just scrape the surface attain nothing of real value and it could even be misleading or short circuited.  We can’t just grab and go. Sometimes we must soak in the soup for a while to collect all the rich flavors of what’s there.

So, before we go deeper we must believe that there is something hidden beneath the perceived obvious. We also must believe that the treasure is worth the work of going deeper.  I am currently in a cabinet making class led by a craftsman in his 80’s.  He has been making cabinets for more than 50 years.  This class moves slowly.  There are many small steps that require patience to learn them. Getting in a hurry will cause mistakes and a waste of wood and possibly personal injury.  The fruit of the study and patience is a well made and beautiful cabinet.  Living the Christian life is the same way. To us has been given the secret of the kingdom of God.  We only have to follow the Master Craftsman, Jesus, and we will perceive, understand, and turn and be forgiven.   Be well.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people.

Part 2 of 2

Ephesians

 “Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving.” (Ephesians 5: 4)

It has been said that people that us vulgar and profane language do so because they are inarticulate or believe that such language impresses others or that such language is funny.  I find it a turnoff. 

I have many family and friends that regularly us vulgar expressions.  I am working on a few of them.  For some I think there is no hope short of God. For most, my nagging is working, but slowly.  They often cringe when they slip up in my presence and notice my disapproving facial expression.  But that’s a start.  So many of us communicate through social media.  And I know there is a way to de-friend or cut them out, but they are my friends and family and I love them.  I want to hear what they have to say but not how they say it. I am not impressed by profanity but rather put off by it and I certainly don’t think the profanity is funny.  In fact, sometimes I miss the point they are trying to make because of the language tools used.   My hope is that my continued presence in their lives, and my language example is something they want to keep and are willing follow me.  And for that, let there be thanksgiving. Be well.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people.

Wednesday Extra

Wednesday Evening Healing Service

AM Psalm 37:1-18; PM Psalm 37:19-42
Isa. 45:5-17; Eph. 5:15-33; Mark 4:21-34

Florence Li Tim-Oi

FIRST WOMAN PRIEST IN THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION, 24 JANUARY 1944

Florence Li Tim-Oi was ordained a deacon and later ordained a priest so as to ensure the Holy Eucharist continued to have a presence in China.  She was ordained a priest by Bishop Ronald Hall of Hong Kong in 1944, primarily because of difficulties occasioned by the Japanese occupation of China. A storm of protest after the war by disapproving bishops forced her to refrain from exercising her role as a priest.

Florence said at one point that she is pleased to serve God at whatever level was told her. Bishop Hall stood his ground and said “she is a priest.” Tim.-Oi is my hero because of her selfless attitude. She was just happy doing God’s work.  However those of us who can see what’s going on with the narrow-mindedness of the Church have a responsibility to go in and work to correct this mindset. I am very pleased to have a picture of Florence Li Tim-Oi and Bishop Barbara Harris (First woman Bishop in the Episcopal Church) talking with one another outside of the Washington National Cathedral. I downloaded it, I did not take it.

Towards the end of her life, Florence Li Tim-Oi emigrated to Canada where she was able to resume her priestly duties. She died in 1992. Like so many she was are rare gift from God that we undervalued. I pray we are getting better. Be Well.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people.

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