Pondering for Sunday, August 23, 2020

Part 1

Daily Office Readings for Sunday of Proper 16: Year 2

 Psalms 146, 147,  111, 112, 113; Job 4:1-6,12-21Rev. 4:1-11Mark 6:1-6a

“On the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands!  Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him.” (Mark 6: 2 and 3) 

I just talked about this yesterday from the Gospel of Matthew, about “Who God will use. And so I will just repeat my closing from yesterday’s blog:  

Yes, our Lord Jesus was, and is, the primary host for God participating in our human life.  And while it is our life, it is God’s world.  And God is working his purposes out.  And God can, and will, do this work with, or without you; around you, or through you.

Anytime we say that because we know him or her (or ourselves), and in our opinion, God would not use him or her (or me), what we are really saying is that we know what God will do, or who God will use.  And that’s just not true.  We, nobody, knows what God will do, or who God will use.  God uses who God chooses. And yes, this includes you. Let’s just be blessed and thankful.

Part 2

Eucahristic Gospel for Sunday of Proper 16: Year A  Matthew 16:13-20

“He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?””  (Matthew 16:15)

As Christians, we should be saying who Jesus is by the way in which we conduct ourselves.  We should be emulating what we know of our Lord Jesus.  We are not to return evil for evil. We should do all we can to heal the sick and feed the hungry; and every now and then, finding a quiet place to pray.

Any non Christian historian can write and publish about who he or she thinks Jesus was.  But we, as Christians, must answer the all important question of who we say Jesus is, (not was), by our belief in Jesus, not just what we have studied about him, but also benefiting from revelation of the Holy Spirit.  We say what we believe and understand by living out the two Commandments he gave us: to love God and to love our neighbor; understanding that all people are our neighbors.

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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