Pondering for Saturday, December 18, 2021

Daily Office Readings for Saturday of the 3rd Week of Advent: Year 2

Morning, Psalm 55; Evening, Psalm 138 and 139:1 to 17;
Zechariah 8:9 to 17Revelation 6:1 to 17Matthew 25:31 to 46:

“Lord, you have searched me out and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar.” (Psalm 139:1)

The writer of Psalm 139 assures us that God knows us, through and through. And while God can discern my thoughts from afar, I have trouble discerning my thoughts, and they originate in me. God then knows me better than I know myself.

I just want to be a good and decent person. And I believe to be good, is to do good.  In the end, I believe God will judge me by the deeds that come from my faith rather than by my thoughts which range from good to not always good. At least that’s what I get from our Gospel for today – Matthew 25, 31 to 46, about the sheep and the goats.  I notice that the sheep-people are not separated by what they believe only but by their active compassion generated by their faith, their care for one another.

What then does God know about me, my sitting down and my rising up? What does God know about you, your sitting down and your rising up?  While I don’t like the negative goat metaphor, I understand that we should be more like the caring sheep than the careless goats. Our Lord Jesus set that example for us as he healed, taught, fed and served those who were not of his own people. He is leading us. We should follow Him.  In Education for Ministry (EfM), we just finished Verna Dozier’s book, “The Dream of God.” She points out that we are called to follow Jesus more than worship Him.  Jesus always pointed to God, his Father, rather than himself. We too should follow the will of God who has searched us out and knows us.

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

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