Monday, December 17, 2007

Get Passionate!

Monday, December 17, 2007 -- Week of 3 Advent (Year 2)

"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at www.missionstclare.com
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html

Audio Podcasts of today's "Morning Reflection" and those from the past week are available from http://www.stpaulsfay.org/id244.html (go to St. Paul's Home Page www.stpaulsfay.org and click "Morning Reflection podcast")


Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p 939)
Psalms 41, 52 (morning) 44 (evening)
Zechariah 1:7-17
Revelation 3:14-22
Matthew 24:15-31

Wake up! Be passionate! Look around at the situation and become energized to respond in the name and power of God!

John scolds the prosperous community in Laodicea for their lukewarmness. "I wish that you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. For you say, 'I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.' You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked." The picture is of a proud, content people who misjudge their own condition and do not have enough passion and energy to respond to their true situation.

Could he be talking to us? How many of us are relatively comfortable and secure? But maybe we have lost the intensity of passion and zeal, and misjudge our deep spiritual need or the calling that we may be ignoring to respond to the needs of our world.

Could he be talking to our nation? We are the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth. How have we used our idealism and passion to serve the betterment of humanity and the planet? Where is our passion?

Zechariah sees a vision of four horsemen. These patrol the earth for God. They report, "Lo, the whole earth remains at peace." Sounds like good news. But it is not. Jerusalem and Judah remain largely unreconstructed. The Temple is still in ruins, though the exiles have been back in their country for twenty years. The basic institutions for social good are not functioning. Wake up! Get to work! Respond to the needs that you see all around you. Do not be lax about the appearance of peace. There is no peace until all share in the prosperity and blessing, says Zechariah.

Matthew sees terrible signs of collapse and chaos. False leaders give conflicting and confusing messages. Even the earth and creation is threatened. Get ready to act. Be alert for Christ's coming. What needs to be done to prepare a world that is ready for Christ, a world that is a suitable home for God?

Wake up! Throw off your lukewarm contentment with things as they are. Peace and security are meaningless unless they extend to all. What is God calling us to do in this moment? Awaken passion! Prepare! Respond!

Lowell
______________________

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The Rev. Lowell Grisham
St
.
Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, AR

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life:
We aspire to...
worship weekly
pray daily
learn constantly
serve joyfully
live generously.

4 Comments:

At 4:24 PM, Blogger Reg Golb said...

Could he be talking to us? Well only if we don't have a visual fruit of the spirit.

Could he be talking to our nation? Well only if we leave the poor innocent women and children of Iraq to fend for themselves.

What needs to be done? First we should clearly define what part of the HOLY BIBLE is really HOLY.

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger Lowell said...

Reg,

The Bible is indeed Holy. I certainly honor it as holy. But Holy is not equal to literal.

And then you take issue with me when I accept literally Paul's word about the fruit of the spirit -- that there is no law against these things.

Lowell

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger The Underground Pewster said...

To many, to keep the Bible "Holy" is to take the Bible "wholly" literally. To others, to take the Bible "wholly" is to see that in the Bible there is "Holy" truth. Can Lowell and Reg Glob identify with either or both of these groups?

 
At 7:25 AM, Blogger Lowell said...

Dear UP:

I certainly identify with the conviction that the Bible reveals Holy truth to us. It is the story of our relationship with God. It forms and informs us. It is infinitely rich and revealing.

For me, demanding that the Bible be read literally is like putting a straightjacket on the truth. Like turning poetry into newspaper. The only truth worth having is objective, historical, factual truth. Holy truth is richer than newspaper truth.

Lowell

 

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