Pondering for Thursday, November 3, 2022

Daily Office Readings for Thursday of Proper 26: Year 2

Morning, Psalm 71; Evening, Psalm 74;
Ecclesiasticus 44:1to15Revelation 16:12 to21Luke 13:18 to 30

“Someone asked him, ‘Lord, will only a few be saved?’ He said to them, ‘Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.” (Luke 13: 23 and 24)

I guess the answer to the question of “someone” is, yes, only a few will be saved.  There is a wide door that many will walk through, but that does not mean it is the entry into paradise.

Each one of us has the personal responsibility to do what we think is right to do, no matter how unpopular it might be. I have a poster that shows an old man walking alone down a road.  Under it the caption reads, “It is better to walk alone than in a crowd going the wrong way.”

The wide door can surely accommodate the large crowd. But through the wide door it may lead the large crowd over the side of a steep cliff, and down into the abyss to their own demise. We all must make our own decisions about where we are going.  Even following the crowd is a decision; it is a decision to let others decide for us.  We can’t follow the crowd and then later, when trouble comes, allege innocents saying “I thought they knew what they were doing.”

Two biblical crowd decisions that I can recall show where the wrong decisions were made. One is  when the crowd persuaded Aaron to make a golden calf for the Israelites to worship while in the wilderness; and the other is when the crowd around the jailed Jesus insisted that he be crucified. Crowds are made up of individuals who have handed over their independent conscience to mob rule. Don’t do that.  Be who God made you to be, and do what God asks you to do in your prayers.

God’s Way is often a little more difficult and sometimes the unpopular path to travel. Too many of us look for the short cut, the easy way, the wide door.  Our Lord Jesus says, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.” Being able is a matter of personal determination and life discipline. Each one of us must make our own decisions about each next step in our lives.  And if you find that you are joined by other disciplined and determined persons who also chose your same path, great! But first strive to find your own path to our Lord Jesus. Roll your heart sleeves up, it’s hard work, it’s the narrow door.

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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