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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 11, 2005

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  • Adam Debaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 11, 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 , Sep 10 9:04 PM
      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 11, 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
      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.

      Inner attitudes and cleansing

      "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For
      you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but
      inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
      You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the
      cup, so that the outside also may become clean."
      Matthew 23:25-26

      Jesus says, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,
      hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup
      and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed
      and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First
      clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside
      also may become clean" (Matthew 23:25-26, NRSV).
      These stinging words are as relevant today as when
      Jesus uttered them. Religious people have often
      been quick to point the finger and condemn others,
      while neglecting to first look in the mirror. Our
      human nature is often blind to our own faults and
      eager to pass the blame on to others. September
      11, 2001 is a powerful example of such religious
      condemnation, bigotry, and hypocrisy.

      That morning four hijacked planes had been used in
      a carefully planned, well-coordinated attack. Two
      had deliberately crashed and destroyed the twin 110-
      story towers of the World Trade Center building in
      New York City. Minutes later another crashed into
      the Pentagon in Washington, DC, causing the White
      House to be evacuated while the fourth plane crashed
      outside Pittsburgh. Scenes of hell could not be any
      worse than these horrific moments as thousands of
      innocent people died in fiery infernos.

      Wise spiritual leaders from around the world quickly
      urged the dazed public to refrain from retributive
      hate crimes. Within hours, people from many faiths
      came together and began many extraordinary interfaith
      vigils mingling Jewish, Christian, and Muslim prayers
      for peace and healing. Our prayers connected us in
      our common human condition of mourning.

      Tragically, before the dust of the rubble settled,
      prominent television evangelists, powerful voices of
      the religious right, pointed their fingers in judgment
      and accused liberal civil liberties groups, feminists,
      homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for being
      partially responsible for the terrorist attacks. These
      self-righteous contemporary Pharisees proclaimed these
      were the people who made God angry at America. They
      vilified many innocent citizens. Ignorant, bigoted,
      and fearful people responded with savage violence
      against fellow Americans in their eagerness to
      retaliate because of the hateful religious rhetoric.
      The hate-filled extremist terrorist rhetoric of the
      9/11 highjackers had met its match.

      According to Jesus, all human beings have great
      potential to be self-indulgent religious hypocrites,
      pointing fingers in judgment towards others while
      neglecting to take care of the inherent potential
      for evil in their own souls. This seems to be an
      especially dangerous occupational hazard for religious
      professionals. We would be wise to remember we are
      all sinners in need of grace. None of us are perfect
      or without sin except God. Together, we should weep
      with God as we meditate on the words from Jesus and
      grieve the events of September 11, 2001.

      God, help us look in the mirror and see ourselves
      through your holy eyes. As we remember September 11,
      2001, we ask you heal the broken hearted and pray for
      our world. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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