Thursday, August 09, 2012

No Deceit

Thursday, August 9, 2012 -- Week of Proper 13, Year Two
Herman of Alaska, Missionary to the Aleut, 1837

Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 979)
Psalms [83] or 145 (morning)       85, 86 (evening)
Judges 8:22-35
Acts 4:1-12
John 1:43-51

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

"Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!"  (John 1:47b)

Jesus' comment about Nathanael has some delightful irony since the historical figure Jacob/Israel was a very clever and deceitful person. 

I also find Jesus' comment delightful because Nathanael has just dissed Jesus, or at least Jesus' hometown.  When Philip came to Nathanael to tell of his excitement over finding "him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth," Nathanael quipped, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"  These kinds of insults tend to get repeated, don't they?  I'll bet the insult got back to Jesus' ears.

But when Nathanael accepts the ubiquitous Christian invitation, "Come and see," Jesus greets him with a jovial welcome -- "Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!"  (I also like an alternate translation -- "...an Israelite in whom there is no guile.")

It is a treasure to know someone of such integrity that you always know "what you see is what you get," and "what you here is simply true."  How much better life would be if we were all people "in whom there is no guile." 

Scott Peck says that the first step in a mature spiritual life is a radical commitment to the truth, including telling the truth when it is inconvenient or when a little "white lie" would be more comfortable.  No deceit.  Not even a white lie.  No guile.  It's always comforting to be around such people.  You can relax your guard a bit.  You can trust. 

It is a noble goal to be (and to become) a person without deceit -- a trustworthy person.  How good it would be if it could be said of you at your funeral, "Here truly was a person in whom there was no deceit."  Today's a good day to start building that trustworthy character if it is not already established.

Lowell
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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

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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