Pondering for Friday, April 21, 2023

Daily Office Readings for Friday of the 2nd Week of Easter: Year 1

Morning, Psalms 16 and 17; Evening, Psalms 134 and 135
Daniel 3:1 to 181st John 3:1 to 10Luke 3:15 to 22:

“There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These pay no heed to you, O king. They do not serve your gods and they do not worship the golden statue that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:12)

So, “Certain Chaldeans” went to King Nebuchadnezzar to complain about “Certain Jews.”  My pondering question is, how would these Certain Chaldeans even know about the Certain Jews, if in fact they were observing the order of Nebuchadnezzar themselves?  I agree with the Jews of Daniel’s day. They, and we of today, should eat healthy and worship the Lord our God, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  But most of all, we must not take our eyes off of God to look at others.  When we do, we tend to look upon them with contempt and not see them as God sees them.

There are examples of this glare of contempt in the New Testament as well. Often we can read where people will take their eyes off of Jesus to look at Mary or a sibling, or a friend, and Jesus has to set them right. We must look at all others through, not around, God. When we view people through the lens of God we look upon them with love as God does.  I know that sometimes we don’t want to love them.  That too is something we need to take to God. How is it that God can love these people whom we, you and I, can clearly see as unrighteous? 

The Chaldeans did not want to love the Jews. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego loved the Lord their God, through whom they even learned to love the Chaldeans, bur not their statue made with hands.  We have a God who is real – a God who loves all people and through whom we too are able to love all, if we choose. We should perhaps ponder whether or not we even want to love all people.  And then, take that decision to God for correction or assistance.

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine and Russia, South Sudan and our schools.

 “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2:1 and 2). So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom. 

What is Shabbat? Intro to the Jewish Sabbath – YouTube

As we listen to what the Spirit of God 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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