These past few days, I have been on the trail of a 26 Fd Regt RCA Commanding Officer's history. It is fascinating to follow websites that carry his work and bits of his life. His work as a surgeon was extraordinary! He was also a Presbyterian and the question arose: as Presbyterians, what do we leave behind on earth after we die? What makes us distinct that people will say, "Wow! He/She was a Presbyterian and we know this because.......of their life's example of helping others?.... of their life's example of being a Biblical Scholar?" Interesting question to meditate and retreat upon during this Lenten time. This day, ask yourself what are you doing to make a good footprint-history-memories-teaching in this world.
Prayer: O God and Father of mercy, receive the prayers we offer in our times of need. Keep our hearts in constant thankfulness. This Lent, help us to look inside ourselves and clean out all the judgements we make of others. This Lent, help us to look inside ourselves and clean out all the wrong choices we make because we think it makes us look better. Give us strength to do what we have to do and do not remember the sins we commit. Strengthen us with Your strength and give to us all the light of Your consoling presence. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Read: St. Matthew 7: 1 – 6
Judging, lots, specks, dogs and pigs. These six verses are full of vibrant images. Jesus uses many illustrations to help the Disciples (and us) understand His teachings.
Judging. Humm, this is one thing we often do unconsciously. When a Minister drives into the Church parking lot with a spiffy new truck, why do we automatically think, “Well, we must be paying them more than your average worker!” When someone sits down in a pew and see nothing but the bling of jewlery, why do we think, “Yikes. What bank did that person rob?” Jesus tells us here that we can not judge. Because if we judge others, then God will judge us. Bummer.
First we need to do a catalogue of our own selves. We need to “take the log out of our own eye first before we can open our lips and judge others”.
Dogs and pigs. Jesus instructs the disciples to not be flippant with the sacred (do not give dogs what is holy). When praying or leading in Worship, remember to give God glory and honour… do not try to be cute. Silliness gives no honour to God. Don’t reduce the Holy Mysteries to silliness (do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you). When we celebrate the Holy Mysteries
(Baptism and Lord’s Supper), we try our best to bring God honour and glory and majesty. These verses are frequently said to new Seminarian students! Ask your Minister when he/she was newly ordained how many times he/she practiced doing communion and holding a water filled balloon in preparation for a Baptism.
Prayer: Return to the Lord for the LORD takes pity on us. To us, God is all forgiveness. This Lent, let me be attentive to the Words that You whisper to us each day. May You enable us to do Your will in every kind of goodness, working in us what pleases You, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.