Pondering for Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 20: Year 2

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

Esther 6:1 to 14; or Judith 10:1 to 23Acts 19:1 to 10;  Luke 4:1 to 13

“He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke out boldly, and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God. When some stubbornly refused to believe and spoke evil of the Way before the congregation, he left them, taking the disciples with him, and argued daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.” (Acts 19: 8 and 9)

Paul shows that there are some people that just won’t believe. And we know that this is still true today. The only thing we can do in such a situation is leave.  I would add that we should still keep them in prayer.  But is serves no good purpose to stay and argue for the sake of arguing.

This type of arguing brings up another important problem to deal with.  And that is, the “speaking evil of,” about the Way.  I think it is okay to, “not agree,” but why do people then have to demean those whom they don’t agree with?  I think it was Patrick Henry or Evelyn Beatrice Hall,  who said, “I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”  Regardless of who first said it, the greater point is the respect of the speaker without a sense of contempt for the speaker.  I often tell my listeners that whatever they believe, it is what it is for right now.  In an hour, or a year, it could change or evolve.  It has, and continues to be so for me.  We are all a work in progress. We must be patient and respectful of one another.  We are all created in the Image of God. 

Like Paul and his disciples, we can take our arguments elsewhere and continue.  I really like being a citizen of these United States.  Sometimes I forget that we are a country of fifty United States. That means that different states have different values and priorities.  And even those priorities and values change over time.  We can stay where we are and strive for incremental change and improvement, or we can move to where likeminded people already live.  We are a free country under one federal system where our vote rules.  We elect our state Governors, representatives and senators based on the majority of our values and then continue to argue for an even better life.  We don’t all agree on any particular issue but hopefully, we don’t, (or will stop), lowering ourselves to demeaning those who differ from us.  We must be open to God appearing in them, and in their words also.

Please continue to keep Ukraine in your prayers.

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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