Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 20:Year 2
Morning, Psalm 80; Evening, Psalm 77:
Esther 4:4 to 17 or Judith 7:1 to 7 and 19 to 32; Acts 18:1 to 11; and Luke (1:1-4),3:1-14
“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.” (Luke 3: 1 and 2)
Wow!, Really? Look at all the prestigious titles of human achievement exhibited here. We have Emperor of Rome, Tiberius by name. We have Pontius Pilate as Governor of all Judea. We have the puppet king Herod, called the king of Galilee, and his brother Philip who lost his wife to his brother Herod as witnessed by John The Baptist. Philip was the ruler of two small sections of the occupied Palestinian area of Judea; and we have Lysaniaas, ruler of Abilene. In addition to these, self absorbed government rulers, we have the self absorbed clergy also, Annas and Caiaphas as high priests.
Now, here is the striking part; The Word of God by-passes all of these self-absorbed men, and goes to the selfless John hanging out in the wilderness sustaining himself on whatever the earth can provide. He is the empty cup that God can fill because he has room to be filled. The lesson here is that if we are full of ourselves, there is no room for God. A good friend of mine informed me a few years ago that EGO means Edging God Out. Let us keep in ourselves a holy space for God to dwell.
I ask that we also make room in our prayer life to lift up Ukraine.
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