Pondering for Friday, March 19, 2021

Daily Office Readings for Friday of the 4th Week in Lent: Year 1

Morning Psalms 95 and 102; Evening  Psalm 107:1 to 32 ;  
Jeremiah 23:1 to 8Romans 8:28 to 39John 6:52 to 59

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family.” (Romans 8:29)

Just when I said Romans 8 was special, (yesterday), this happens today.  I don’t buy the idea of predestination.  I know Paul does, but I think it’s all Paul.  And of course Augustine of Hippo, John Calvin and even some Christian denominations have adopted this predestination theology. But not me, and I don’t think the Anglican Episcopal Church does either. Praise Jesus.

We have free will and an invitation to join our Lord Jesus in living the life of love and righteousness. But we are all free to accept it or reject it. I don’t believe all who do not accept Christianity are bad people.  But then, I have seen some pretty bad people who profess to be Christian. God will sort us out. Christianity is a path to God. Episcopalian Anglicanism is a Christian path within the God believers. We tend to be who we choose to be for ourselves. God is watching. Our Lord Jesus, through whom all things came into the world, will judge us by our hearts and deeds like the goats and sheep beginning at Matthew 25:31. Note that it was their loving deeds that saved them not their professed faith. While I believe that Christianity is a dedicated life of loving service, I don’t believe God has predestined us to be such. But I think God would like us all to choose to be such.

Today we remember St. Joseph, earthly father to Jesus in his early human life.

I consider Joseph to be the role model and example for all fathers. We have no words from Joseph. We have his obedience to God and care of his family. Joseph was going to quietly dismiss Mary who was already pregnant.  “But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins,” (Matthew 1 20 and 21).  Joseph realized that he was a part of something bigger than himself. Again an angel tells him to take the baby and mother to Egypt for a while and he does that also, (Matthew 2:13).  Joseph was faithful to the will of God, yet we have no words from him. What an example of fatherhood, If anyone thinks obedience and  silence are weaknesses, let us remember that Joseph was handpicked by God, perhaps for these specific qualities.

For this evening and tomorrow day my friends; Shabbat Shalom

Let us live to love, more than we just love to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do.  John

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