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Sep 21st
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. July 25, 2009 - Saturday Meditation (Blessed to Bless!)
July 25, 2009 - Saturday Meditation (Blessed to Bless!) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Friday, 24 July 2009 02:30

J esus is very clear:  God’s invitation through Jesus is for each of us to serve one another.  Our gifts, talents and powers are not for our own glory, but for others, for the community.  Anyone desiring greatness in God’s sight must serve others.   

* Feast of Saint James, Apostle

2 Corinthians 4:7-15

* Psalm 126:1bc-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6

M atthew 20:20-28  (alternate reading: Matthew 13:18-23)  Then the mother of the sons of Zeb'edee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. (21) And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." (22) But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able." (23) He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." (24) And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. (25) But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over  them. (26) It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, (27) and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; (28) even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." 

* Meditation by Cathy Weiss Pedersen

F rom time to time, each of us encounters our human limitations.  As I age, I become frustrated at what sometimes takes me twice the time to accomplish half of what I might have done as a younger person.  And as I watch my parents grow older, with their multiple health problems complicating their lives, I am sometimes disheartened as they struggle to maintain some semblance of wellbeing in their seemingly marathon of medical appointments, tests, or change of medications, etc.

So it’s easy to resonate with today’s reading from Paul as he speaks of carrying the treasure of God’s message in earthen vessels, “…afflicted in every way, but not crushed, full of doubts, but never despairing…struck down, but never destroyed….

So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” 

How do I/we meet the challenges of our own limitations, whether in our physical bodies, and /or in the struggles and restrictions of our life situations?  Paul reminds us that it is actually through our human frailties that God’s presence and potential can be recognized.   When I’m at the ‘top of my game’, feeling great and full of energy, I can easily become convinced of my own power and gifts, and perhaps forget to step back to recognize that it is the gifts of God’s spirit within me, through me and, at times, in spite of myself that allows others to truly know God’s presence in our world.

However, I must first recognize and open myself to God’s spirit and presence within me, in order to let God’s life-giving energy flow.  Perhaps, this is what today’s Gospel passage suggests.

James and John’s mother seeks a place of honor in the Kingdom for her sons from Jesus.  Jesus questions whether or not the sons can truly accept what such an honor entails, but also reminds all that it is God who knows how we shall enter the Kingdom.  However, Jesus is very clear:  God’s invitation through Jesus is for each of us to serve one another.  Our gifts, talents and powers are not for our own glory, but for others, for the community.  Anyone desiring greatness in God’s sight must serve others.   

How do I approach God with my needs, desires, wants, and fears?   My mother recently told me she prays that when ‘the time comes’ for her and my dad, she wants to be the first to die.  However, she always adds, ‘But, if he needs me to help him in his sickness, then I’ll be there for him, and then I’ll go.”  (She says that she hasn’t ‘heard back from God, yet’.)

Somehow, I think Mom has today’s message summed up perfectly!

I pray that I can also learn to be ‘ok’ with my human limitations, but also know that the talents, gifts and presence that are God’s presence in me will be life giving to all if I continue to remember to live for and with others.

* Supplementary Reading

Do What You Know by Juan Carlos Ortiz

But those who look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continue in it—not forgetting what they have heard but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. – James 1:25

I remember dissecting frogs in high school. If the world's best surgeon had wanted to reassemble one of those frogs after I had its guts spread all over the table, he would have thrown up his hands in despair.

Today, the church specializes in Bible dissection. We dissect verses on Sunday morning. Some churches do it again Sunday night, and again once or twice during the week. Small groups meet for Bible study and practice amateur dissection.

What is the result? Our Bibles are filled with surgical scars in the form of pencil and pen marks that underline verses. Our heads are filled with those excised verses and comments about those verses. But in too many communities, the work of Christ, the application of those verses, remains undone.

If you and I are going to be a growing, thriving spiritual community, we must be people who not only hear the Word, but DO it!

* * *

Be more than just a hearer of the Word this week—be a doer of it!

* * *

PRAY as if everything depended on HIM. ACT as if everything depended on YOU.


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Last Updated on Friday, 24 July 2009 09:21

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"I told him, 'Son, what is it with you. Is it ignorance or apathy?' He said, 'Coach, I don't know and I don't care.' "--Frank Layden, Utah Jazz president, on a former player