Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 21: Year 1
Morning, Psalms 101 and 109; Evening, Psalm 119:121 to 144;
2nd Kings 18:9 to 25; 1st Corinthians 8:1 to 13; Matthew 7:13 to 21:
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it;” (Matthew 7:13 and 14).
As a child I used to go on trips with my dad during the summer. He worked for United Van Lines, the moving company. I was blessed to see all of the continental United States while still a teenager. Riding in the truck, and occasionally driving was fun. The packing and moving of furniture was not, it was hard work.
I can remember my dad, on several occasions, finding a truck stop somewhere and tearing down and repacking household goods tighter. This was a twofold benefit. First, being packed tighter prevented breakage. And second, packing it tighter created more space and we were able to maybe pick up another small shipment going in the same direction. I will tell you that the last thing I wanted to do was take some supposed downtime, and use it to unpack and repack household goods. It was a hard reality, but in the end, very rewarding; something I didn’t understand until later.
According to our Lord Jesus, our God is asking us to unpack and repack ourselves. It is probably the last thing any of us want to do. It is hard work. Because it is a hard road to travel, it is the road less traveled because of its difficulty, and therefore it leads to a very narrow gate where the few who get to it may pass.
But if we stay on our path of the hard work, of repacking ourselves tighter and tighter, we will see amazing things and as we journey, God will give us more as we are creating more space and as we are traveling in the same direction, towards God. Not all will willingly put in the self work of repacking themselves. The easier way is to just let whatever environment you are in, shape you according to the political, racial, religious, or cultural persuasions you find yourself in.
Our Lord Jesus is inviting us to do the hard work of resisting that which does not get us through the narrow door. It is not easy. We tend to be satisfied with whatever others tell us or is easy. Such is the wide gate and the easy road that leads to destruction. We are equipped by God to do the hard work and like me, we may not understand it until later. Now, however, we just walk by faith.
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