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."
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
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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