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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of February 11, 2007

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of February 11, 2007 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 10 9:22 PM
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of February 11, 2007

      **********

      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.

      Requirements of true religion

      "God has told you, O mortal, what is good;
      and what does the Lord require of you
      but to do justice, and to love kindness,
      and to walk humbly with your God?"
      Micah 6:8b

      I often feel I fall far short of God's requirements.
      Micah shows us how our hearts should respond to God.
      We are taught what is good and required from Torah
      (Old Testament law). Rather than be rigidly
      legalistic and dogmatic in matters of organized
      religion and social concerns, we are to live Torah
      from our hearts.

      Jesus certainly made this clear to the religious
      leaders of his day who erred on the side of legalism,
      not compassion. "Woe to you, teachers of the law
      . . . you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your
      spices mint, dill, and cumin. But you have
      neglected the more important matters of the law:
      justice, mercy, and faithfulness . . ." (Matthew
      23:23 NIV).

      God requires we do justice as our ethical response
      to community living. Our actions have social
      consequences. We are to love "chesed," which is
      the beautiful Hebrew word that translates as
      "mercy." We are to freely and willingly show
      kindness and mercy to others. All this is humanly
      impossible without spiritual humility. Mercy can
      change the world.

      James, believed to have been one of Jesus' brothers,
      wrote a New Testament passage found in the epistle
      of James that scholars think of as linked to the
      words of Micah. In his letter, James emphasizes
      a vital spirituality that is characterized by good
      deeds and faith. He summarizes his brother's
      teachings with the statement, "[F]aith by itself,
      if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (James
      2:17 NIV). If the Hebrew Testament prophets are
      difficult to read and understand, consider reading
      the five short chapters in James. James learned
      true religion from his big brother, Jesus Christ.
      James gives us an example of what true religion
      should be by emphasizing the importance of both
      words and actions.

      I often hear people say of others, "Oh, s/he is
      very religious." What does that mean? Do they
      mean those individuals act justly, freely show
      mercy to others, and humbly walk with their
      Higher Power?

      James writes a great deal about religion.
      "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure
      and faultless is this: to look after orphans
      and widows in their distress and to keep oneself
      from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27 NIV).

      God, help me be just, kind, merciful, and humble
      in word and deed. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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