Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 14: Year 1
Morning, Psalm 107:33 to 43 and 108:1 to 6; Evening, Psalm 33;
2nd Samuel 16:1 to 23; Acts 22:17 to 29; Mark 11:1 to 11:
“The tribune answered, ‘It cost me a large sum of money to get my citizenship.’ Paul said, ‘But I was born a citizen:” (Acts 22:28)
You and I are citizens of heaven and the price of our citizenship was paid by our Lord Jesus. Jesus tells us that we too must be born again into this citizenship from above by water and the Spirit: (John 3:3 to 7). Personally, I now understand the “born again,” as born into love and service to others. In no way are we, as citizens of heaven, to mistreat others or use others in demeaning ways.
I don’t understand “examining” with a whip as it seems to be the normal way of interrogation in our Acts reading for today. It’s like beating a person until they say what you want them to say. It’s wrong. I seem to recall that Pilot did the same thing to our Lord Jesus even though he was going to have him crucified. Why? If we truly become the other, we would feel what they feel and therefore not be mean and cruel to them.
You and I should be examining ourselves daily by the plumb line of Christ with which we measure our thoughts and actions on a daily basis. It is only when we see the straight and moral correctness of our Lord Jesus, and how we are not so straight when compared to him, that we correct ourselves and strive to be better. While we understand that we will never be our Lord Jesus, we should be devoted to a life of trying to be the best Jesus we can be. I’m not there yet but I haven’t given up on me.
I will strive everyday to not yield to, returning evil for evil, name calling, one-upping, racial, religious, political, or national prejudice, and other sinful practices that seem to be the norm for this world of separation and indifference. I will strive to not behave in these ways because I realize that it is not who I am as a citizen of heaven.
Jesus’ citizenship took precedence over ours for our benefit. But we are no less citizens of heaven now because he has paid the price that God the Creator has accepted. Our citizenship is through our Lord Jesus. Therefore, we are no longer citizens of this world, but rather citizens of that heavenly country where there is life eternal, and from whence, no traveler returns. Thank you Lord Jesus.
Let us live to love, serve and teach, rather than just live to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying through the saints of God and to us, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John