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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of June 8, 2008

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of June 8, 2008 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 7, 2008
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of June 8, 2008

      **********

      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.

      Gifts from God

      "As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called
      Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to
      him, 'Follow me.' And Matthew got up and followed
      Jesus."
      Matthew 9:9

      Matthew's birth obviously had been a source of
      deep parental joy and celebration because his
      name literally means "God's gift." Yet little
      Matthew grew up to be an adult who broke his
      parents hearts. Their beloved son grew to be
      an outcast among his own people as a result of
      his lifestyle of bad decisions and moral failings.

      Jesus was God's gift to Matthew. Jesus searched
      for Matthew with a startling invitation to become
      part of his beloved community of faithful disciples.
      From Matthew's spontaneous response, we learn there
      is a place at God's table for everyone. Each reader
      is invited to respond to Jesus with the enthusiasm,
      joy, and gratitude of Matthew. This is our gift to
      God.

      Still another divine gift awaits us. On the evening
      of Matthew's dramatic calling into discipleship, he
      hosted a lavish dinner party with Jesus as his
      honored guest. Many of Matthew's friends and
      colleagues attended along with the Pharisees.
      The Pharisees classified Matthew and his tax
      collector associates as despicable sinners.
      These sanctimonious religious authorities were
      scandalized by the fact that Jesus ate with such
      relish in the presence of such people. Jesus' gift
      to us is his response to his critics, "It is not
      the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But
      go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not
      sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous,
      but sinners" (Matthew 9:12). This gift challenges us
      to reexamine our attitudes towards people we believe
      are unforgivable sinners and outcasts.

      God has many gifts for us through the example of
      Matthew. Perhaps the greatest gift is the call of
      divine mercy and forgiveness to all people, including
      lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people
      excluded by legalistic, judgmental, and abusive
      religion. The Bible contains many unspoken yet
      intriguing life stories. Priceless gifts are waiting
      to be found by every thoughtful searcher willing to
      sift and ponder the meaning of these stories.

      Merciful and compassionate God, we thank you for so
      many spiritual gifts today. Teach us more of divine
      mercy and forgiveness. Help us get up and follow
      Jesus with the courage, joy, and gratitude of Matthew.
      Bring us into new life with Christ. Protect us from
      the judgmental attitudes of the Pharisees. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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