Pondering for Friday, June 12, 2020

Daily Office Reading for Friday of Proper 5: Year 2

Psalm 69:1-23 (24-30) 31-38; Psalm 73Eccles. 11:9-12:14; Gal. 5:25-6:10; Matt. 16:21-28

“Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:26)

Sadly, we are team members. Maybe our school athletic teams have programmed us to think in this way.  Perhaps we are too team oriented. I can remember once when I went to a basketball game wherein my school played an undefeated school that had not lost a basketball game in years.  We beat them and one of their cheerleaders fainted. She just couldn’t believe it.

I think we need to check ourselves.  Sports are fine but still just sports.  Is it possible that our lessons about sports team loyalty has taken control of all allegiances, for example, political party, type of car, church denomination, the so-called “race” we happened to be born into and so forth? We are always competing against one another.  It’s silly and shameful.

There is the one team of God and the sorted little made-up human teams. In our Gospel lesson for today our Lord Jesus makes a clear distinction between the human team and the team of God.  When Peter began to rebuke Jesus about the God ordained path he was about to take, “He [Jesus] turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’ (Matthew 16: 23)

It is difficult and often uncomfortable but we too must look beyond mortal loyalties to that immortal allegiance we have with God.  We must realize that being created in God’s Image we are all on the same team.  Anything less that absolute allegiance to God is just sports and should “get behind us Satan.”

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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