Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 12, 2012
- View SourceChi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 12, 2012
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.
Who is the greatest?
"At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked,
'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' He
called a child, whom he put among them, and said,
'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like
children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest
in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such
child in my name welcomes me.
'If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these
little ones who believe in me, it would be better for
you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck
and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to
the world because of stumbling-blocks! Occasions for
stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom
the stumbling-block comes!
'If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut
it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter
life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet
and to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye
causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away;
it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to
have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire.'"
One of my good friends is a fiercely competitive bowler.
She is one of the best and is frequently called "THE
bowler." Many fear bowling against her because she is
very, very good. She is the greatest woman bowler in
her state. But this is not the kind of greatness Jesus
is teaching about.
At this point in the story the disciples have been with
Jesus for three years. They wanted to know who was the
greatest among their inner group. Jesus brings in a
young child for a lesson in spiritual greatness.
According to the kingdom of heaven, spiritual greatness
is found in those with childlike humility and trust in
Christ. And woe to any who place stumbling blocks
before these little ones. Woe to any who cause them
to lose their faith in Jesus.
Jesus is not calling people to disfigure or mutilate
themselves literally in their self-examination. Jesus
does call us to moments of introspection and reflection.
We are all God's children. Are we placing stumbling
blocks and discouraging certain people from faith in
I will always remember the story of a young gay Christian.
He grew up in a legalistic church, listening to his pastor
preach about how much Jesus hated homosexuals. This young
man believed his pastor through his teenage years as he
struggled to become heterosexual so Jesus would love him.
One day, as a young adult, he asked a priest friend just
where in the Gospels did Jesus preach such condemnation.
Nowhere, exclaimed the priest. For the young man, it was
a profound moment of revelation and hope. He soon found
a Christian church consisting of many gay and lesbian
parishioners. He now sings in the choir and brings his
dates and friends to this welcoming church. He was one
of the lucky ones fortunate to overcome his spiritual
stumbling blocks. The homophobic church of his childhood
had caused him years of tears and inner torment, attempting
to change what could not be changed. His childhood pastor
had actually lied from his pulpit, inflicting great harm
to this young man and the entire congregation.
God, are we helping or hindering people from trusting in
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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