Pondering for Monday, October 24, 2022

Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 25: Year 2

Morning, Psalms 41and 52; Evening, Psalm 44
Ecclesiasticus 19:4to17Revelation 11:1to14Luke 11:14to26

“But some of them said, ‘He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” (Luke 11:15)

Jesus was casting out demons and putting people back in their right minds.  And instead of being thankful, some in the crowds wanted to be critical of the source of Jesus’ ability. It can be disheartening when we struggle to do something good and then are accused of doing the good work for self-serving or self-glorification purposes. 

We are again at the height of national politicking in this country.  We are a few days now from elections at every level except the presidency. I have seen good works from people in both of our major parties. From the presidential office down to the local state and county representatives. If we really look, we can find the good works that they all do. We can find good works from both the incumbents as well as those desiring to replace them. 

In our faith history, the scriptures, in particular Ezra, is recorded good works done by two kings of Persia who were not Hebrews but by the power of God, Cyrus and Darius, assisted the Hebrew people in the re-establishment of Jerusalem (Ezra, chapters 1 through 6). These kings gained nothing from these godly acts.  But both believed that God Almighty wanted them to do this good work. They did it not for themselves, but because it pleased God.

Our Lord Jesus also informs the critics to understand that God works in mysterious ways. He said to them about his casting out the demon, “But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you” (Luke 11:20).

God is all about good and holy works.  You and I don’t do good works. God does good works through our faith.  Let us not be confused about the real source of the good works that we do.  The finger of God is still at work in this world because the kingdom of God has come to us.

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for 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

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