Monday, 18 June 2012

Hot Water Monday

On Saturday our Hot water tank decided to quit.  Weekend calls for the plumber is time and a half plus added fees for call-outs and repair times.   Needless to say we are watching our pennies and decided to wait until Monday to call and book an appointment with the plumber.   Hot water.  Who knew Hot Water was so precious?!    And now that we don't have it,  we are finding ways to get around turning on the Hot Water tap.    The kettle has become our best friend.

This is the reverse of last year when Brandon had "The Great Flood of 2011" and we didn't use water out of the taps but used bottled water until the water levels went down and the sewage plant - water treatment plant was declared "not flooded".

Water is something we take for granted until there is a change in our lives that water becomes front and center of our attention.     Kinda like our faith.   Our faith is always present, but becomes front and centre of our attention when something in our life changes.   Seems to me that both water and our Faith always need to be the centre of our attention.     Let us make it so!

Monday Retreat.....
Prayer:   Holy and Gracious God,  may we live in Your Spirit,  grow in faith, hope, and love, and be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit we give honour and glory, now and forever.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 21: 23 – 32

There are two  teachings in today’s  daily devotional.     In the first teaching, the Chief Priests and Elders come up to Jesus and ask him what authority he has to teach in the  Temple.     Like today’s Ministers and Elders,  Rabbis/Teachers were ordained by God through the laying on of hands.  It is through ordination, the laying on of hands, that one is given authority to be a voice for God.     The Chief Priests and Elders ask Jesus by whose authority does he teach, for they knew that they had not ordained Jesus.   

Jesus asks them a question about John the Baptist that would lead to the Chief Priests and Elders looking like fools in the eyes of the people.  Jesus asked them who authorized John’s Baptism – heaven or humans.    If the Chief Priests answer heaven,  then Jesus will respond with a “so why didn’t you believe in John the Baptist as prophet?”    The ministry of the prophet is to bring the people back to God.   Which the Chief Priests and Elders should view as a right thing.   But,  the Chief Priests and Elders did not like John the Baptist’s work.      

If the Chief Priests and Elders answer “humans” then the people will rise up and state to the Chief Priests and Elders that John the Baptist was given the tasking of prophet by God,  not by humans.  In the end, the Chief Priests and Elders say they do not know.   By answering that they did not know,  they show themselves up for not taking a stand on what they believe… for not acknowledging the ministry of John the Baptist.. and for not giving their own authority.  Yikes.   

The second teaching is a parable that Jesus tells to emphasize the importance of standing for what one believes.    A man has two sons.  He asks his two sons to go work in the family vineyard.  The first son says, “no,  I won’t work” but then decides that he will work and off he goes to the vineyard.    The second son says, “Yes I will work” but never shows up for the job.   
Jesus asks which of the sons did what the father asked?  The Chief Priests and Elders answer, “The first son”.  
Jesus responds by stating that the second son are all those who say they believe in God but end up doing nothing in God’s name.   The second son portrays all those who say they believe in God – from believer to ordained – but do nothing to bring about the Kingdom of God.        The first son,  while initially not believing in God,  does end up believing in God.    Jesus then says that the crooks and the whores are like the first son who initially did not believe but now believe.  They will enter heaven. 

While we click our tongues and think, “those horrible Chief Priests and Elders”… are we like them today?   Do we say, “yes we’ll pray for you” and then don’t.   Do we say that we read our Bibles every day and then  don’t.  Do we  say we go to Church all the time and then not listen?

By whose authority do you teach the Good News of Jesus each day?

Prayer:  Great God,  we know that You give us authority to teach the Good News of Jesus each and every day.   Help us to live and walk in the Spirit.  Help us to increase daily in the gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control as one who belongs to Christ Jesus, our Lord.  Amen.

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