Pondering for Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of Proper 10: Year 2

Morning, Psalms 26 and 28; Evening, Psalms 36 and 39;

Joshua 2:15 – 24; Romans 11:13 – 24; Matthew 25: 14 – 30

“Do not vaunt yourselves over the branches. If you do vaunt yourselves, remember that it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you.  You will say, ‘Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.’ That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe.  For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you.  Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity towards those who have fallen, but God’s kindness towards you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.”  (Romans 11: 18 – 22)

I can remember telling a priest who is a dear friend of mine, that I identify myself by the Church to which I belong.  I told him long ago that I don’t care about being black, or male, or straight, or American.  I am Anglican!  It has been a long process but one that redefined me for who I truly am in Christ Jesus.

Paul’s metaphor of the root, the trunk or a tree and its branches, natural and grafted, really clarify for me my own “grafted” status.  I was not really brought up in any particular religious faith tradition. I did attend a Catholic school which formed a deep spirituality in me.  Little did I know in the mid 1950’s that the Episcopal Church would pick up where the grade school of St Vincent DePaul left off some twenty years later and graft me into its Anglicanism.  Paul is so correct when he says; “it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you.”

The Spiritual tree of God has many grafted-in branches and many that have always been connected. All are good paths to, and nurtured by, God. God is the root of all faith.

Beyond worship traditions and into global humanity, let us keep Ukraine in our prayers. All of us are nurtured from the same root, which also includes the Russian people.

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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