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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of July 27, 2008

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of July 27, 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 , Jul 27, 2008
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of July 27, 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.

      Traditions

      "Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from
      Jerusalem and said, 'Why do your disciples
      transgress the tradition of the elders? For
      they do not wash their hands when they eat.'
      He answered them, 'And why do you transgress
      the commandment of God for the sake of your
      tradition? For God commanded, "Honor your
      father and your mother," and, "He who speaks
      evil of father or mother, let him surely die."
      But you say, "If any one tells his father or
      his mother, What you would have gained from me
      is given to God, he need not honor his father."
      So, for the sake of your tradition, you have made
      void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did
      Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: "This people
      honors me with their lips, but their heart is far
      from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as
      doctrines the precepts of men."'"
      Matthew 15:1-9

      This story should make us uncomfortable. We all
      have cherished traditions that have stood the test
      of time, but some traditions can in fact be called
      sacred cows. When something is done more for comfort
      and out of habit than renewing a fresh connection
      with the spirit, that is known as a sacred cow.
      All of our cherished traditions certainly are well
      intentioned, but sometimes they can actually keep
      us from obeying the Spirit of God.

      This is the situation we find as we read of these
      Pharisees and teachers of the law. They deeply
      loved God and earnestly desired to obey every jot
      and tittle of their religious law. In their
      religious zealousness, they lost touch with basic
      human kindness and responsibility towards even
      their parents. They honored their tradition more
      than God and became hypocrites through their
      religious practices.

      The prophet Isaiah prophesied about both them and
      us. It is easy to honor God with our mouths, but
      our hearts are distant from God. We worship in
      vain and our teachings are human rules, not God's
      rules.

      Cherished human traditions can both help and hinder
      our spiritual lives. When they hinder us, we limit
      others and ourselves from experiencing God's mighty
      power.

      Do we find ourselves in this story? Where? Let us
      sit with God and let these words linger in our hearts.
      Perhaps we need to let some cherished traditions and
      preconceived biases go. Perhaps we need a new look
      at God and how our religion affects our spirituality.
      "Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburgers," as the
      popular saying goes. Perhaps we need a fresh taste
      of God today.

      God, let our hearts be very close to you as we
      reexamine our religious traditions and our roles
      in them. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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