Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 23: Year 1
Morning, Psalms 16 and 17; Evening, Psalm 22;
Jeremiah 38:14 to 28; 1st Corinthians 15:1 to 11; Matthew 11:1 to 6:
“But by the grace of God I am who I am, and his grace towards me has not been in vain.” (1st Corinthians 15:10)
When, and if, we ever come to the realization that we did not bring ourselves to where we are, and we seem to be doing okay, we realize that the Grace of God has guarded us along the way. I can look back on many occasions where things could have gone very differently, and in a bad way. But it didn’t. I am thankful for being “carried” past conflict and then allowed to try again.
I just heard on a Western that I like to watch where the star says, “I don’t judge a man by where he’s been, but rather, by where he’s going.” I have found that there are two kinds of people who were mistreated as children or young adults. Some want to mistreat others because they were mistreated. Others, because they were mistreated, not only won’t do it to others, but they also will not allow it to be done by anybody else if they can prevent it. Where we have been and what we have experienced will have an impact on us now. We can do evil or we can do good. The decision we make about this determines our character and shows the caliber of our moral compass.
If we read good books, including The Good Book, especially the New Testament, and watch good movies, especially the old Westerns where the good guys always won, and if we surrounded ourselves with people of integrity, we will still need the Grace of God Almighty to make us people of righteousness.
We need to be people of meditative prayer in order to open a way for the Grace of God to enter into our souls and guide our hearts. If we were abused as a child, or bullied as an adolescent, or wrongly convicted of a crime for which we served time in prison; none of these evil experiences have to make us an evil person. With God’s Grace we overcome our tragic histories and make promising futures with God’s help. Nothing is impossible for God, the Creator and Sustainer of all life. And, when graced by God, we cannot let this divine intervention be in vain. Ponder this during our Sabbath time.
“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