Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 17: Year 1
“You do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that:” (James 4:14 and 15).
These are very interesting words from James. We are not promised tomorrow. We must live the best life we can today. And even today if the Lord wishes.
Our 1st Kings reading shows once again that jealousy regarding God’s choice causes us to want to destroy one another. It happened with Cain and Abel, it happened with Saul and David, and in this reading today with Solomon and Jeroboam. If God is acting in our midst why should we be angry with God’s choice and wish harm to the person? God always chooses the best for the community. If anything, we are all going to benefit from the fruit of God’s choice. Believing in God requires us to accept God’s works among us and then be comfortable with, and thankful for, what God is doing.
James is right, we do not know what tomorrow will bring. We should plan for the worst and pray for the best. But above all, we must learn to be contemplative enough to discern the presence of God at work in our lives and in our communities. Out of Covid chaos, fires and floods, God will save us as God sees fit. There is no time for jealousy of those who seem to be favored. For we are all a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes, at least in earthly form. While we are in our earthly form, we ought to say, “If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.”
Friday evening is the perfect time to start to contemplate the presence of God in our lives. It is the eve of the time God has gifted us with, in order that we might rest, reflect and ponder. We Christians are not excused from observing the Sabbath rest as our Lord Jesus also kept the Sabbath. Let us make it a time of ridding ourselves of all potential jealousy and prejudice. The Sabbath is a cleansing time for our souls.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2:1 and 2). So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John