Daily Office Readings for Monday of the 4th Week of Epiphany: Year 2
Morning, Psalms 56 and 57; Evening, Psalms 64 and 65;
Genesis 19:1 to 29; Hebrews 11:1 to 12; John 6:27 to 40:
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
I don’t care much for the idea of reward seeking, but rather, just participating with God.
When we believe that there is a God, a loving God who has created, and is still creating, all life, we then have choices to make. We can just sit back and enjoy the good works that God is doing, or through some antisocial twist of mind, work against the works of God. Or, we can be a part of what God is doing by participating in the beauty and health and love of God’s works.
God wants to co-create and maintain creation with us. And God will meet us if we take steps toward God. From our Hebrew reading we learn that there is a “response,” (rather than reward), to us as we seek God. That response is more than we can ever ask or imagine. Because we believe that God exists and that God is good, the sweat-equity we apply in our beliefs simultaneously invigorates us. I think we should just do good for goodness sake. This then is not looking forward to some specific award, or reward, that once accomplished, tends to encourage us to stop and bask in our accomplishments. No, I believe that as we approach the will of God, we are pleased more and more by each step that we take.
I saw a cartoon in the paper once where the child in the Charlie Brown Peanuts series who plays the piano, was asked by the little girl, who I believe has a crush on him that, “What if he practiced for twenty years and never became rich or famous?” To which he replied, “The joy is in the playing.” And she responded, somewhat upset, “Really?” This really captures how I feel about our approach to God. The joy is in the approach. The joy is in the journey, the joy is in the participation, really.
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