Readings, Reflection and Pondering for Sunday 17 February 2019: Epiphany

Jeremiah 17:5-10Psalm 11 Corinthians 15:12-20Luke 6:17-26

“He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.” (Luke 6: 17)

Geographically, Jesus is in Galilee.  We know this because he has just gotten out of the fisherman’s boats preaching to the people (Luke 5:1 – 4)

 We know that he was just by lake Gennesaret which is also called Lake Galilee and Lake Tiberius. While there were hills around, called mountains in the New Testament, Jesus was still in the region of Galilee. This is important as he was on a level place.  This is a good analogy for Jesus being on equal footing with all humanity. Those who came to hear and see him were a great crowd of disciples (students not necessarily apostles) and also a great multitude from Judea, Jerusalem and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.  Tire and Sidon are situated on the Mediterranean cost to the north and west.

This three year ministry of Jesus in the region of Galilee again shows that Jesus’ work took place in the region formally known as Israel before they were joined by King David (As seen in photo above from Lake Galilee).  There were high places and low places and level places.  Some like to refer this Lucan Beatitudes as the Sermon on the plane because it was a “level place.” You and I need to be on the level and walk between the high and low places in life as we also strive to be on level footing with all humanity. In Jesus’ words in this section of Luke there are four blessings and four woes. These are the high and low places. You and I have choices about whether to be blessed or not. Perhaps it’s better to visit more of the low places and assist God in raising them up.  What do you think?

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

Ponder #17

The third point of the second star is Integrity.

Integrity here means honesty. It means being loyal to God’s call and being an honest person. I also like to call this regret avoidance.  Integrity is about doing what we say we will do.  It is about having an understanding with people and living into that understanding as best we can. If we say one thing and do another, what good is our word?  Today almost everything we agree on is covered with a civil contract so that we are able to sue the other for lack of their integrity.  Where are we going with this kind of thinking? Integrity then is honoring the understanding we have with God and with our neighbors.  It is honest relationship.

 “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.” (From the 3rd verse of Praise to the Lord)

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