Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 10, 2006
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 10, 2006
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.
"Jesus said, 'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier matters of the
law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these
you ought to have practiced without neglecting
the others. You blind guides! You strain out
a gnat but swallow a camel!'"
Jesus did not endear himself to the religious
leaders of his day listening to these comments.
His brutally honest words continue to instruct
people from all walks of life and every religious
tradition. Every human being has great potential
to be a hypocrite. Our external, public behavior
can look marvelous. We can be applauded for our
personal piety as we meticulously tithe our
resources to the penny, promoting religious
activities through our various churches, synagogues,
temples, and multifaith and ecumenical institutions.
We can excel in obeying the letter of the law while
neglecting mercy, justice, and faithfulness.
When we err in these ways, Jesus bluntly reminds
us that we have become blind guides and hypocrites.
We can be so diligent and devoted to honoring the
minutia of our laws that we become overzealous in
our judgments and condemning of those who do not
meet our strict standards of behavior.
It is good to remember that we are all sinners
saved by grace. Yes, it is important and
spiritually pleasing to God when we tithe of
our resources. But God is not pleased when we
neglect the most important matters of justice,
compassion, and faithfulness. The Gospel is
quite practical. If we chose to follow the
Christ, God expects us to bring a little heaven
on earth to others less fortunate than ourselves.
How then should we live? By doing justice,
offering mercy, and walking humbly with God.
When in doubt, err on the side of justice with
mercy and mercy with justice, while seeking divine
wisdom every step of the way. Be accountable to
others who have the courage to confront us when
we become legalistic and inconsistent. When we
find ourselves straining out gnats, ask God for
forgiveness and humbly learn from those mistakes.
God, protect me from harsh legalism, from any lack
in justice or mercy in secular, religious, and
spiritual settings. Help me walk humbly with you
as I strive to be faithful in word, thought, and
deed to the teachings of Jesus. Give me courage
to confront my own inner blindness. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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