Pondering for Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 6: Year 2

Morning, Psalm 119:97 to 120; Evening,  Psalms 81 and 82;  

Numbers 11:24 to 33 (34-35); Romans 1:28 to 2:11; Matthew 18:1 to 9:

“For he will repay according to each one’s deeds: to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be anguish and distress for everyone who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.” (Romans 2: 6 – 11)

To this New Testament reading I have some critiques and some “Amen’s.”  I believe that God will take into account what we do and what we say over what we just think about doing or saying.  We might think many things that are not noble or divine.  But as we use the discipline not to speak or act on them, we are pardoned.  Thank You Lord Jesus for helping us overcome the demons in our minds. 

Twice Paul says “the Jew first and also the Greek.”  And yet follows up with “for God shows no partiality.”  This seems partial to me however on the part of Paul.  Full disclosure, I don’t care if I am second, as long as I get there.  As I have studied various cultures I have learned that some cultures use different ways to separate themselves from everybody else.  The Japanese have two different alphabets. One is used for original native Japanese society; Hiragana; and they have an alphabet used for words foreign to Japanese speaking; Katakana. The Amish also say that all persons outside the Amish community are called “the English,” regardless of where they live or originate from. So I understand Paul and his “Jew first” attitude.  I also fully understand that with God there really is no partiality.

I think what I really like here is the fact that we are held more accountable for what we do and say rather than what we think, or what our ethnicity is.  Our minds are free and sometimes wild, but left to be regulated by our sense of the moral plumb line. Giving in to the temptations of saying or doing wickedness is ungodly. Self seeking and self-serving is ungodly. By patiently doing good works and seeking glory and honor for God, we will have immortality, and God will give us eternal life. Thank You Lord Jesus.

As a spiritual person, I love exploring the spiritual realm. Today we remember Evelyn Underhill.

My journaling, from which this blog comes, is all about my contemplative self.  I actively sit in quiet inviting God to enter my mind and move me in ways pleasing to God.  Evelyn Underhill is one of my major heroes. Here is some insight from her sharing:

“Evelyn Underhill’s most valuable contribution to spiritual literature must surely be her conviction that the mystical life is not only open to a saintly few, but to anyone who cares to nurture it and weave it into everyday experience, and also (at the time, a startling idea) that modern psychological theories and discoveries, far from hindering or negating spirituality, can actually enhance and transform it.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for June 15)

So we don’t have to be monks, or priests, to enter into the mystic life.  It is available to all of us who dare to be still and know that God is God. God says through the Psalmist, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)                                      

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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