492Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 12, 2007
- Aug 13, 2007Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 12, 2007
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
Who is the greatest?
"At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying,
'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?'
And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst
of them, and said, 'Truly, I say to you, unless you
turn and become like children, you will never enter
the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like
this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of
heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name
receives me; but whoever causes one of these little
ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better
for him to have a great millstone fastened round
his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is
necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man
by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or
your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw
it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed
or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown
into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you
to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better
for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes
to be thrown into the hell of fire.'"
One of my good friends is a fiercely competitive
bowler. She is one of the best and is frequently
called "THE bowler." Many fear bowling against her
because she is very, very good. She is the greatest
woman bowler in her state. But this is not the kind
of greatness Jesus is teaching about.
At this point in the story the disciples have been
with Jesus for three years. They wanted to know who
was the greatest among their inner group. Jesus
brings in a young child for a lesson in spiritual
greatness. According to the kingdom of heaven,
spiritual greatness is found in those with childlike
humility and trust in Christ. And woe to any who
place stumbling blocks before these little ones.
Woe to any who cause them to lose their faith in
Jesus is not calling people to disfigure or mutilate
themselves literally in their self-examination.
Jesus does call us to moments of introspection and
reflection. We are all God's children. Are we
placing stumbling blocks and discouraging certain
people from faith in Jesus?
I will always remember the story of a young gay
Christian. He grew up in a legalistic church,
listening to his pastor preach about how much Jesus
hated homosexuals. This young man believed his
pastor through his teenage years as he struggled
to become heterosexual so Jesus would love him.
One day, as a young adult, he asked a priest friend
just where in the Gospels did Jesus preach such
Nowhere, exclaimed the priest. For the young man,
it was a profound moment of revelation and hope.
He soon found a Christian church consisting of many
gay and lesbian parishioners. He now sings in the
choir and brings his dates and friends to this
welcoming church. He was one of the lucky ones
fortunate to overcome his spiritual stumbling
blocks. The homophobic church of his childhood
had caused him years of tears and inner torment,
attempting to change what could not be changed.
His childhood pastor had actually lied from his
pulpit, inflicting great harm to this young man
and the entire congregation.
God, are we helping or hindering people from
trusting in Jesus? Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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