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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 3, 2008

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 3, 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 , Aug 2, 2008
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 3, 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.

      Give us a sign

      "And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test
      him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven.
      He answered them, 'When it is evening, you say, "It
      will be fair weather; for the sky is red." And in
      the morning, "It will be stormy today, for the sky
      is red and threatening." You know how to interpret
      the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret
      the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous
      generation seeks for a sign, but no sign shall be
      given to it except the sign of Jonah.' So he left
      them and departed."
      Matthew 16:1-4

      The Pharisees and Sadducees, two powerful religious
      groups within the Jewish tradition, struggle to
      discern the possibility of a miracle in the presence
      of Jesus. These two groups' stubborn adherence to
      the rules of their faith unfortunately leads to
      their unbelief. Despite having witnessed many of
      the miracles Jesus performed and listened carefully
      to his teachings, they refused to believe Jesus was
      both from God and was God. They demanded even more
      signs from heaven.

      The error of these two groups was their refusal even
      to consider a glimmer of new truth from God when it
      came through Jesus Christ. In their not-so-humble
      opinion, Jesus was a mere mortal just as they were.
      Their sin was in their persistent unbelief and
      refusal to be open to increased revelation and truth
      from God by having faith in this remarkable messenger.
      Jesus was a great threat to the cherished beliefs of
      many Pharisees and Sadducees. Jesus threatened the
      foundation of their religious faith by suggesting
      that such a close connection between God and humans
      was possibly manifested in him. Jesus insisted his
      critics needed to believe in his message without
      spectacular and miraculous signs on demand. Seeing
      does not always lead to belief, and that was the
      case among the majority of the Pharisees and
      Sadducees.

      Believing helps us see the world through the eyes
      of faith. The New Testament urges people to have
      faith, keep the faith, and pursue faith while asking
      for more faith in God through Jesus Christ. Faith
      is a mystery, and it is the only way to salvation.
      Faith is available to "whosoever," "all," and
      "everyone." It is more than being concerned with
      heavenly signs or facts versus feelings. Faith
      is also more than a one-time statement of
      intellectual or emotional belief. Faith is a
      continuous, ongoing, intimate, deeply personal,
      and loving relationship with the living Christ.

      The stubborn Sadducees and Pharisees refused to
      believe in Jesus Christ. Will we too insist on
      signs from heaven or will we believe in the life-
      giving message of Jesus?

      God, open our hearts to the truth of Jesus' message.
      Let us be open to new possibilities while we yearn
      for heavenly signs to help us believe. Let us
      journey by faith, not by sight. We pray these
      things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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