Pondering for Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Epiphany: Year 1

Morning, Psalm 45; Evening, Psalms 47and 48;
Isaiah 48:12 to 21Galatians 1:18 to 2:10Mark 6:1 to 13

“Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, and I was still unknown by sight to the Churches of Judea that are in Christ; they only heard it said, ‘The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.’  And they glorified God because of me.” (Galatians 1:21 to 24)

This is how Saul, now Paul, was identified. He was basically called, “the one who changed!”  Change can be good.  It is good if we evolve. Change is good if we get better, if we grow in good ways.

In my own personal life I have evolved in terms of what I believe about God, and about humanity. I have moved from believing God is some kind of anorexic Santa Clause sitting on a throne looking for places to deal out wrath.  I now believe that God is the Holy Spiritual presence that is continuously creating the universe and dwells within the same creation in love and kindness. I believe that God holds humanity in a special way and was pleased to dwell among us as one of us in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.

About humanity, I believe we are all loved equally by God.  I believe we are doing ourselves a disservice by separating ourselves with the artificial categories of race, sexual orientation, nationality, gender, and language. These separations are silliness and in most cases, sinful.

I have not always felt this way. I have evolved. I have been like Nicodemus who in the darkness of his mind came to see, and talk with, our Lord Jesus, and was changed forever (John chapter 3). Like Saul to Paul, I have had to let go of my old silliness and sinfulness and receive what God wants me to understand. I was filled with what my own elders wanted me to think. Today, with the guidance of good spiritual writers as my elders, I have been changed forever.

It is when we take some time to ourselves and ponder, that God visits us and gives us new insight into God’s divine relationship with us, – a relationship in which we all belong to God and to one another, and one in which we all may grow and evolve, like Paul.

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 and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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