Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 27: Year 2
Morning, Psalms 87and 90; Evening, Psalm 136;
Joel 3:9to17; James 2:1to13; Luke 16:10to17:
“So he said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15)
So why does it have to be this way? Why is it that what is prized by God cannot also be prized by human beings as well? And we know what that is, right? It is “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God,” (Micah 6:8), and, “to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world;” (James 1: 27). We have the Bible as a rule and guide for our behavior fully knowing that it contains all things necessary for our salvation.
All we have to do is read, learn and heed. Perhaps I am being a little naïve. We first have to believe. We have to believe what our parents have handed down to us. I, myself, did not come from a “Churched” family. And the Bible was not read as a part of our family life. My father was an over-the-road truck driver. He was away for much of my up-bringing. My mother was a business woman who operated restaurants for as long as I can remember as a child growing up. They enrolled me in Catholic School in Nashville, Tennessee. Both parents seemed interested in me having a belief in God, and in our Lord Jesus in particular, notwithstanding their lack of Church attendance or Bible teachings.
Now, I have both the Church, (not Roman Catholic but Episcopalian), and the Holy Bible. Because I later joined the Church and attended regular services, I followed the guidance of my last priest and discerned a call to the priesthood. I also have a seminary education now. I am blessed.
None of us are blessed for our own personal benefit. When we are blessed, we are blessed to pass it on. I sincerely pray that I have a loving heart. Only God knows. But where I am failing I pray God straightens me out. God knows every human heart. But regardless of where your heart is, God can make it better. You cannot, but God can. For God, all things are possible. But you have to ask for a righteous heart in prayer. Pray with me:
“Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.” (BCP 355)
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