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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of June 9, 2013

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of June 9, 2013 ********** 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 10, 2013
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of June 9, 2013

      **********

      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 come to call not 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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