Pondering for Weddnesday, March 18, 2020

Part 1 of 2

Daily Office Readings for Wednesday after the Third Sunday of Lent: year 2

Psalm 119:97-120; Psalm 81, 82  Gen. 45:16-28; 1 Cor. 8:1-13; Mark 6:13-29 

“But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling-block to the weak.” (1 Corinthians 8:9)

Paul here is talking about not eating food dedicated to idols. But we can all look deeper into our own lives as thinking Christians. Reason is one of the three legs of the three legged stool that Richard Hooker used as a metaphor for us to think about; Scripture, Tradition and Reason.  They all carry the same and equal guidance on our Christian behavior.  I like to have a beer every now and then.  But I will not stop at a store and purchase beer while wearing clericals (clergy shirt with tab or collar).  North Carolina, being part of the Southern Bible belt where beliefs are pretty fundamental, right or wrong, I don’t want people to think ill of me or of my Church. Are there any practices or enjoyments that you have that could become a stumbling-block to the weak?

Part 2 of 2

Today we remember Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem from 349 to 386

Readings for Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem:

Psalm 34:1-8  Ecclesiasticus 47:2-10 Mark 9: 38-41

“Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord; let us exalt his Name together.” (Psalm 34:3)

“It is likely that it was Cyril who instituted the observances of Palm Sunday and Holy Week during the latter years of his episcopate in Jerusalem. In doing so, he was taking practical steps to organize devotions for countless pilgrims and local inhabitants around the sacred sites. In time, as pilgrims returned to their homes from Palestine, these services were to influence the development of Holy Week observances throughout the entire Church. Cyril attended the Second Ecumenical Council at Constantinople, in 381, and died at Jerusalem on March 18, 386. (Great Cloud of Witnesses for March 18)

Cyril seemed to be one who invited others to join him to praise God. He lived into the Psalmist’s words, “Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord; let us exalt his Name together.”  Inviting people to join us in Church is certainly not a stumbling block, but rather, a step up.  Our Church is going through a really hard time now with this Covid 19 threat. Now is the best time to invite others.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John

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