545Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of June 8, 2008
- Jun 7, 2008Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of June 8, 2008
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.
Gifts from God
"As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called
Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to
him, 'Follow me.' And Matthew got up and followed
Matthew's birth obviously had been a source of
deep parental joy and celebration because his
name literally means "God's gift." Yet little
Matthew grew up to be an adult who broke his
parents hearts. Their beloved son grew to be
an outcast among his own people as a result of
his lifestyle of bad decisions and moral failings.
Jesus was God's gift to Matthew. Jesus searched
for Matthew with a startling invitation to become
part of his beloved community of faithful disciples.
From Matthew's spontaneous response, we learn there
is a place at God's table for everyone. Each reader
is invited to respond to Jesus with the enthusiasm,
joy, and gratitude of Matthew. This is our gift to
Still another divine gift awaits us. On the evening
of Matthew's dramatic calling into discipleship, he
hosted a lavish dinner party with Jesus as his
honored guest. Many of Matthew's friends and
colleagues attended along with the Pharisees.
The Pharisees classified Matthew and his tax
collector associates as despicable sinners.
These sanctimonious religious authorities were
scandalized by the fact that Jesus ate with such
relish in the presence of such people. Jesus' gift
to us is his response to his critics, "It is not
the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But
go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not
sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous,
but sinners" (Matthew 9:12). This gift challenges us
to reexamine our attitudes towards people we believe
are unforgivable sinners and outcasts.
God has many gifts for us through the example of
Matthew. Perhaps the greatest gift is the call of
divine mercy and forgiveness to all people, including
lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people
excluded by legalistic, judgmental, and abusive
religion. The Bible contains many unspoken yet
intriguing life stories. Priceless gifts are waiting
to be found by every thoughtful searcher willing to
sift and ponder the meaning of these stories.
Merciful and compassionate God, we thank you for so
many spiritual gifts today. Teach us more of divine
mercy and forgiveness. Help us get up and follow
Jesus with the courage, joy, and gratitude of Matthew.
Bring us into new life with Christ. Protect us from
the judgmental attitudes of the Pharisees. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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