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492Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 12, 2007

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Aug 13, 2007
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      Chi 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.'"
      Matthew 18:1-9

      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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