Pondering for Thursday: August 22, 2019

Daily Office Readings for Thursday of Proper 15 Year 1

AM Psalm 131, 132, [133]; PM Psalm 134, 1352 Samuel 19:1-23; Acts 24:1-23; Mark 12:28-34

“I have a hope in God—a hope that they themselves also accept—that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15)

I believe in the Resurrection.  I believe that all humanity must give an account of their lives, that is, if they had any opportunity to make choices and didn’t die as infants or total slaves all their lives.  I know I’m no saint but I also believe in a God of mercy.

I think our God of mercy will be loving even to those of us who were not loving to one another. This might be a good time to review my own personal creed again. It is Trinitarian but does not name historical people but rather focuses on day to day personal accountability. It is thus: “I Trust in the Creating Word through the Holy Spirit of the Incarnate Word, in whom we live and move and love and have our being, and to whom we must give an account.”

I think in the resurrection we will be aware of our own souls and the souls of others.  We will not so much see their earthly shell but feel them.  They will not have, nor will we have the façade of race, or ethnicity, or gender, or orientation, or any outer quality once deemed important in this life. We will be what our inner souls have been fashioned to be through our works and prayers.  We must learn to live that way now so that we might be better prepared to live in eternity.  We must put aside every falsehood of race and gender and orientation and ethnicity and nationality and everything that separates us from one another because in separating ourselves from each other we separate ourselves, not from God, but from what God wants for us.

In our Gospel reading for today Jesus answers the question of what is the greatest of the Commandments:  “Jesus answered, ‘The first is, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.”  (Mark 12:29 – 31)  This love for God and for neighbor as one’s self is exactly what we need to practice now, in this life.

In our Acts reading Paul stands before the Governor and his accusers proclaiming his hope of the resurrection. At this point he realizes it’s all he has.  It is also all we have. This life is a preparation for eternal life. What we amass in materialism in this life has no connection to our life in the resurrection. However, our faith in God and our determination to do good for Jesus’ sake carries the blessed hope of the resurrection of which Paul spoke of.  He says, “I have a hope in God—a hope that they themselves also accept—that there will be a resurrection of both* the righteous and the unrighteous.” I believe that unless you are an infant or kept in total slavery you make choices that prepare you for the resurrection of which Paul spoke.

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

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