Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 18: Year 1
Morning, Psalms 40 and 54; Evening, Psalm 51;
1st Kings 18:20 to 40; Philippians 3:1 to16; Matthew 3:1 to 12:
“Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you:” (Philippians 3:15).
Walking in faith requires constant due diligence. Maturity in faith requires us to learn and be open to evolving, even beyond the limits of the Bible and Church doctrine. When we are a little silent in the company of others, we will hear and see those in the room who are also mature, and of the same mind. While being of the same mind does not mean absolute agreement on all things biblically or otherwise, it does mean the acknowledgment of not having the answers to all questions. It is okay to humble ourselves into the cloud of unknowing while maintaining our sacred faith in Christ Jesus.
In our 1st Kings reading Elijah was able to prove that the Lord is God by calling down fire for the sacrifice of a bull. Unfortunately, it also led to the slaughter of the prophets of Baal. Being of the same mind does not mean we all have to agree. Being of the same mind, for me, means that in the end, God will decide. We should do what we think is loving and right, then God will decide.
Fire is also the cleanser of our souls as reported by John the Baptist in our Gospel reading from Matthew today. “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire:” (Matthew 3:11), John the Baptist proclaims as he acknowledges he doesn’t have all the answers. But our Lord Jesus will be the burning bush of enlightenment that will at last give us peace.
I think the mature mind is the mind that tells itself that it still has some maturation to go. It doesn’t hastily discount other’s thoughts, but it ponders about a great many things. It’s Friday again. Let us take some time tomorrow to just contemplate where we are spiritually. “This too God will reveal to you.”
“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