Monday, April 07, 2014

Monday, April 07, 2014

READING


Old Testament: Exodus 4:10-31
Morning Psalms: Psalms 31
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 14:1-19
Gospel: Mark 9:30-41
Evening Psalms: Psalms 35

DEVOTIONAL


Today's Gospel reading takes me back to a blazing hot hilltop outside Port-au-Prince, where a little boy is perched on top of a dirt embankment overhanging the path between a work site lower down the hill and the supply yard above. I walk up, saying something like, "Hey kid, let's get down from there before you break something.” The little boy extends his arms and half-falls, half-jumps into my arms. Then he is squirming to the ground, which turns out to be a good thing because I need my hands free to catch his little sister who has been watching and decides to join the game. I didn't realize we were playing. Next, here comes another little girl, followed by the original jumper. I might have been there 'til dinner time, but someone called me to return to my place in the bucket brigade passing supplies down the hill. Then one of the older kids interrupted the line headed up the embankment with mock stern instructions for me to stop fooling around.

At that moment, I wasn't feeling too guilty for accepting a momentary diversion from hard work; but a little mild self-reproach, plus the need to pay attention to the task at hand, kept me from thinking about what had just happened. Now, I think that God was trying to tell me something that day, and it's a lot like what Jesus was saying to the disciples when he embraced the little child as the embodiment of the humble, trusting spirit in which man finds God: I need to be present, and paying attention, not distracted by concerns about appearance, status, or prestige, when God comes flying at me in whatever form He chooses.

Lord God, almighty and everlasting father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we might not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose.
“A Collect for Grace” - Book Of Common Prayer, p.100
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