Pondering for Friday, April 28, 2023

Daily Office Readings for Friday of the 3rd Week of Easter: Year 1

Morning,  Psalm 105:1 to 22; Evening,  Psalm 105:23 to 45
Daniel 6:1 to 152nd  John 1 to 13Luke 5:12 to 26

“The men said, ‘We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.” (Daniel 6:5)

Throughout the Bible, and in our life today, we try to justify our evil intentions by finding fault in the tradition and pious practices of others. These subjects of King Darius now conspire to destroy Daniel out of their jealousy and contempt for him.

This jealousy and contempt happens when we behold others around God rather than through God.  People who perhaps didn’t pray in their tradition at all, go and point their finger at one who is trying to hold to his practice of regular prayer.  “Then they responded to the king, ‘Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the interdict you have signed, but he is saying his prayers three times a day.” (Daniel 6:13)  Of course this accusation will condemn Daniel even though the king does not want to do this. 

Regardless of the faith path we are on we must view one another through the eyes of our Creator as we understand that that Creator does not make worthless people or people brought into the world only to be hated.  We are all worthy of God’s love and therefore should be worthy of the love of each of us.  We should question any interdict, rule, custom, policy, law, or legislation that hinders or harms another human being who is trying to honor God in his or her own way.

If we admire the good of a person who worships different than ourselves we should lift that up to be appreciated if not copied. I have heard that Muslims pray five times a day. I think that’s wonderful. Our own Book of Common Prayer offers opportunities for us to pray at least four times a day: we have Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayers, Evening Prayer and Compline for the close of the day. Unfortunately, some of our none praying Episcopalians will be critical of the practice of Muslims and other traditions to include some Christian traditions. Such criticism comes from gazing at others around God rather than through God. It leads only to condescension and an arrogance that is not born from the love of God as was our Lord Jesus, who loves everybody, as we should also.

“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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