Monday, April 06, 2009

Walking the Walk

Monday, April 6, 2009 -- Holy Week

Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 956)
Psalms 51:1-18(19-20) 69:1-23
Jeremiah 12:1-16
Philippians 3:1-14
John 12:9-19

"Why does the way of the guilty prosper? ...How long will the land mourn, and the grass of every field wither?" Jeremiah's complaints sound as modern as today's newspapers. Some of the same people who created economic ruin by their greed and manipulation give themselves bonuses and payouts with the money intended to correct the problems they created. Scientific consensus warns us that our greed and mismanagement of our planet's resources now threaten to unleash potentially catastrophic climate changes, and for many it's "business as usual."

We probably are getting the same response from God that Jeremiah got -- It's gonna get worse before it gets better. "Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard, they have trampled down my portion, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness." There is distant hope for the future. But in the present, we reap what we have sowed.

Paul also looks at some of his losses. He has embraced losing a former way of life. He has changed his entire orientation. Though it has cost him everything, from his former perspective, he regards that as nothing in comparison with his new path.

He sounds a bit like those who have dropped out of the consumerist mentality that so dominates our culture. He sounds like those who are energized about simplifying their lives and minimizing their impact on our planet. There is a light in eyes of those today who have already shifted their perspective and embraced a new style of ecological living and communal responsibility.

We have entered Holy Week. We retrace that passage of Jesus through the brokenness of humanity and its deadly consequences. We will see him face the bitter consequences of greed and manipulation of power that destroys our society and planet. He will take upon himself those consequences, and he will return only love.

Jesus invites us to walk the same walk. To take up our cross and follow him. How do we live lives energized by love rather than greed or power or pride? How do we care for our neighbors and our planet in this new way? How can we be the hope that Jeremiah, Paul and Jesus offered to their broken generations? We face that agenda every Holy Week?

Lowell
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Audio podcast: Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week. Click the following link: Morning Reflection Podcasts

About Morning Reflections
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


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

Visit our web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

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

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas

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