Pondering for Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of the 7th Week of Easter: Year 1

Psalms 101 and 109:1 to 4 and 20 to 30; Evening Psalm 119:121 to 144
Ezekiel 11:14 to 25Hebrews 7:1 to 17Luke 10:17 to 24:

“At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.”  (Luke 10:22)

There are several phrases within our readings for today that jump out at me as I observe human nature and compare us today with our ancient writings.  I notice that our Lectionary excludes verses 5 through 19 of Psalm 109. These verses wrap any kind of justice up in revenge, for example; “When he is judged, let him be found guilty, and let his appeal be in vain:” (Psalm 109:6).  Today, when I hear people call for justice I hear revenge in their voice and in their heart. This is sadness for me.  I’m glad we have the opportunity to skip such verses.

The Hebrew Testament offers some relief where Ezekiel reports, “I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, so that they may follow my statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God:” (Ezekiel 11:19 and 20). Perhaps it is with a heart of stone that we have lost all compassion. We need the heart of flesh – the heart of compassion so that we shall be God’s people and God will truly be our God. Such as this is better than sadness.

In the Gospel reading for today and after the seventy returned from doing the Lord’s work, “At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit:” This is from our Gospel reading for today as printed above. It is not often that we can contemplate a happy Jesus, and even less is it talked about. This is a move away from sadness. I believe we were made to be a happy people.

If we pay close attention to this Luke verse we will notice that our Lord Jesus is actually praying in his rejoicing.  He prays, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.”  He is not praying from a state of sadness. How often do we seriously pray in our rejoicing?  I know that personally, I like to give out a big “Thank You Jesus,” whenever something good happens in my life.  It just feels good to say it out loud.  I also like looking at these words on the sign posted in my front yard. A happy Jesus makes me happy too. We are happiest when we pardon or forgive one another and not carry the burden of hate, jealousy, racism, and revenge under the veil of so called justice. Give it a try; be happy!

Let us live to love, more than 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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