Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Family Tragedies

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 -- Week of 3 Epiphany, Year Two
Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe, Witnesses to the Faith

Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, 945)
Psalms 119:49-72 (morning) 49, [53] (evening)
Genesis 16:1-14
Hebrews 9:15-28
John 5:19-29

So much jealousy, sadness and tragedy is contained in this story from Genesis. How does it happen that nations and races and peoples become divided and hostile toward one another. Which came first the legend or the division?

Poor Hagar. She is the powerless one in this story. A slave who is given to her master to produce a child. Then the oppressed one becomes the oppressor. She taunts and provokes Sarai, who then reacts harshly.

God's angel comes to help. But there is enmity and division that will last. Our contemporary world several millennia later suffers violence, threat and tragedy that seems to have its roots in the legend of this domestic conflict.

Yet blood is a powerful bond. Ishmael and Jacob are brothers. Abraham has many offspring. We are all children of God.

Hebrews speaks of the power of blood to forgive. After so much shared bloodshed from the offspring of Hagar and Sarai, can we find ways to bring reconciliation within the family?

We say that Jesus lived to reconcile the world. We call him the Prince of Peace. He reached out beyond the boundaries of race, tribe and religion to heal and to bring compassion and understanding to all, not just to his own Jewish brothers and sisters.

It is our heritage and our duty to accept the vocation of peacemaking. Blessed are the peacemakers. It is our calling to share in the reconciling work of Jesus. Can we in our lifetime do our part to reverse the sad tragedy of conflict between siblings? Few things could be more important work.


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
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site at this location --

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

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


At 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lowell - Your reflections that point to our role as peace makers, in fact being what Jesus called us to be, is what resonates with me. Thank you for being a voice in calling us to our true vocation. Keep urging the church to preach that message.

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Jane said...

I struggle most with being able to love my enemies, especially those who spread discord and hatred in our own country.


At 4:59 PM, Anonymous janetlgraige said...

Lowell and All,

I remember the comment read somewhere along the way about the beatitudes. Blessed are ... is a now blessing, a now attitude, a now perspective, not a future one.

So, blessed are the ones working for, living, breathing peace. It is good to remember when others are not understanding or creating more conflict.

Blessings and peace,


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