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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 28, 2005

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  • Adam Debaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 28, 2005 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our new book of
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 27, 2005
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 28, 2005


      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
      Press, here is a selection from our new book
      of daily devotions, "Living as the Beloved:
      One Day at a Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra

      Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      Judgment and a prayer lesson

      "In the morning, when he returned to the city, he
      was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the side of
      the road, he went to it and found nothing at all
      on it but leaves. Then he said to it, 'May no fruit
      ever come from you again!' And the fig tree withered
      at once. When the disciples saw it, they were amazed,
      saying, 'How did the fig tree wither at once?' Jesus
      answered them, 'Truly I tell you, if you have faith
      and do not doubt, not only will you do what has been
      done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this
      mountain, "Be lifted up and thrown into the sea," it
      will be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer with
      faith, you will receive.'"
      Matthew 21:18-22

      What in heaven's name does this unfruitful fig tree
      and prayer lesson mean for us? Matthew describes the
      tree as withering immediately. The fig tree event
      takes a bit longer in Mark 11:12-14, 20-25. Some
      biblical scholars suggest this is an example of God's
      immediate judgment. (Barker, Kenneth, General Editor.
      "The New International Version Study Bible," p. 1472.)

      Bearing fruit is a spiritual metaphor common in scripture
      that I struggle with as an urban woman. I have no
      agricultural expertise and provide great entertainment
      to my neighbors as I am learning to differentiate
      between the weeds and flowers in my yard. But I do
      understand what it means to be barren in spirit and
      life. Someday my own life will also come into divine

      All of us will someday be asked if our lives were
      fruitful or barren in goodness, generosity, hospitality,
      kindness, love, mercy, and justice. Perhaps it is time
      to cultivate and nurture a new spirit as we follow Christ.

      What about this teaching on prayer? Jesus says it is "the
      truth." If we have faith without doubt, we can do even
      more than he did with the fig tree. He concludes this
      teaching with this empowering comment, "If you believe,
      you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (Matthew
      21:22 NIV).

      Now I have asked for many things in life through prayer.
      I do not remember receiving answers to every request.
      Yet I have often been more prayerless than prayerful.
      My prayer life is imperfect at best, and I am an ordained
      minister with more than forty years in the Christian life.
      Perhaps my prayers have been as barren as this fig tree.
      The fruit of our prayers can change the world, help many
      people, and transform our personal lives. So why do we
      hesitate to pray and believe nothing is impossible for

      God, I personally lack the faith to pray strongly enough
      to move mountains. Oh, help my unbelief! Teach me to
      pray in such ways that my life and the lives of many
      others will be productive, loving, and blessed. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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