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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 10, 2006

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 9, 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.

      Blind guides

      "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!'"
      Matthew 23:23-24

      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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