Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Free Life

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 -- Week of Easter 2

Readings for the Daily Office
(Book of Common Prayer, p. 959)
Psalms  119:1-24 (morning)        //        12, 13, 14 (evening)
Exodus 15:22 - 16:10
1 Peter 2:1-10
John 15:1-11  

[Go to http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html for an online version of the Daily Office including today's scripture readings.]

Many of us were taught that you have to earn your keep.  Beginning at a tender age we started getting grades on our performance.  We experienced praise or blame depending upon how well we were doing or how compliant we were.  The whole message was one of qualified and insecure standing.  That's life in Egypt.  Do what your taskmasters tell you, the way that they tell you, or you'll get in trouble.  The threatened life.

When God liberated Israel from Egypt, God fed them with manna.  God provided for their daily needs.  God didn't give them a surplus.  If you tried to insure your security by gathering enough manna for a second day, it turned to worms. God provided water for them and sweetened its bitterness.  Now free from their taskmasters in Egypt, Israel was invited to trust God for their security of daily bread and steadfast loving affection.  It's a different life from Egypt.  The free life.

It takes a bit of trust to let God bring you your life instead of satisfying internal or external taskmasters for your security.  Simply trusting God for the needs of the present, letting go of the grasping control of the future, is like being connected with grace.  It is to be a branch on the vine.  It is to abide in Christ.  To abide in love. 

Jesus says that it is his intention that his divine "joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete."  Relaxing into the day with trust, receiving the manna of daily bread, and abiding in the divine love.  Sounds like the free life.  Sounds like joy.

Lowell
___________
Audio podcast:  Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week.  Go to: http://www.stpaulsfay.org/id244.html

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 http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html

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.

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.

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

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