Monday, March 12, 2007

Jeremiah 7:1-15; Psalm 80; Romans 4:1-12; John 7:14-36

These passages speak to me of listening for God and being led to do the right thing.

In Jeremiah and the passage from John I hear them saying to understand what it is to do the right thing and not just say it. I hear that 90% of the U.S. is Christian and 50% go to church. We live in the richest country in the world, but it has many homeless and poor. What is being a Christian? Isn’t this more than giving of our riches and worldly goods to “love one another as ourselves” only when it’s the leftovers after our expenses. Isn’t it about stretching ourselves: giving time when we are busy; giving instead of buying; avoiding being taken in by money, and by the feeling that if you don’t have it (whatever it is), you aren’t quite successful, happy, or even good enough? Yes, in our hearts we know that’s not what it’s about, yet…. Are you falling for it?

The psalm talks of feeding the vine and ensuring that it thrives. This, too, says to me that we must feed and nurture each other – those we know and those we don’t. We must include in this, caring for the vine that keeps us all alive, this beautiful creation of earth that God made. Spring is upon us. What a great time to plant an extra tree for oxygen and to think carefully before we drive everywhere in that large car or van using up resources. Take a walk instead!

In the reading from John, Jesus is teaching at the feast with an explanation of speaking for honor and following the Biblical law versus living the law of God’s words from the heart. This means being led to do the right thing because of your heart’s understanding of God’s intent for you, and not just doing things because you think you are supposed to or because it’s what you have left, even if knowing the difference is sometimes difficult. Following the Lord is often not the easiest choice, but it’s the right one.

Ann Lowden

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