Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Way of Active Trust

Thursday, January 7, 2009 -- Year Two

Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 943)
Psalms 103 (morning) 114, 115 (evening
Deuteronomy 8:1-3
Colossians 1:1-14
John 6:30-33, 48-51

The Deuteronomic editor establishes something fundamental in our reading today. Our relationship with God is exercised through active trust in God founded upon God's faithfulness. God led the people through the wilderness, feeding them with manna, "with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted." Therefore, trust God and follow in God's ways.

We pick up a similar theme in John's Gospel. The manna returns in Jesus. Just as God fed the people with manna in the wilderness, so God is feeding us, giving us life through Jesus, the bread of life, the living bread from heaven. We hear the eucharistic invitation to eat the bread of eternal life which is identified as the very life of Jesus, given for and to us.

We are invited to trust Jesus just as the Hebrew people were invited to trust God. We manifest that trust by following in the way of God, the way of Jesus. Walking in the way of Jesus exercises our active trust. What does it mean to walk in the way of Jesus and to trust him actively?

Fundamentally it is to follow the new commandment to love God, neighbor and self. It is to let compassion rule our hearts. It is to work for justice on behalf of all people. It is to trust God for our needs, and to release our grasping instincts for security, esteem, control and power. We do all of that living in community.

The Baptismal Covenant in our Book of Common Prayer does a good job of describing what it means to walk in the way of Jesus and to trust him actively. We will renew our Baptismal Covenant this Sunday, the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. Here are the five questions that we affirm following our embrace of the Apostles' Creed:

Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
I will, with God's help.


Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

I will, with God's help.
W

Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?

I will, with God's help.


Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?

I will, with God's help.


Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

I will, with God's help.
That's a pretty good description of the Christian life.

Some say that the first name given to the early church was "The Way." To follow Jesus is to walk in his way. We live out our faith in active trust. The Way of Jesus is our food, our bread, our life.

Lowell
_____________________________________________

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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