Meditations

First Post of Lent – True Sonship and Daughtership

First Post of Lent – True Sonship and Daughtership

And here is where we see it all begin to come together for our purposes today. There is a sense in which we are all sons and daughters of God, for we are not only made by him, but also made in his image and likeness. This is suggested by Luke’s genealogy and it is good and right to affirm this. However, because we are made in God’s image and likeness, we are also made for a deeper, richer sonship (and daughter-ship) that cannot be a simple fact of nature, nor can it be obtained by our own efforts. It must be obtained through the unmerited gift of grace, by uniting ourselves to Christ and being baptized in to his uncompromising obedience to God manifested in his life, death and resurrection.

Without this, there is no “best life now”, no true fulfillment. But with it there is life abundant, there is life eternal.

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New Lenten Series! – Sons and Daughters of God

New Lenten Series! – Sons and Daughters of God

Throughout the ages, the forty days of Lent have been a season of focused and intentional devotion. Often those devotions have been centered on Jesus’ own forty day sojourn in the wilderness just after his baptism and before his ministry. Would you join us this year as we offer five meditations, one each Monday in Lent, taken from Luke’s account of the baptism, temptation, and beginning ministry of Jesus (Luke 3:21-23,36b-38, 4:1-21)? I am confident that, if you do, you will gain real insight into you own life, your own ministry, and your own challenges to live out your calling. As Kathleen has written:

“The same Spirit that declared his Sonship at baptism and then drove him into the wilderness for testing is the same Spirit that drove him to Galilee and anointed him for this ministry of healing, liberation, and redemption. And it is the same Spirit that we, ourselves, receive at Baptism when, in Christ, we too are made into sons and daughters of God.”

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St. John Chrysostom’s Sermon on Christmas in Celebration of the Nativity of the Lord

St. John Chrysostom’s Sermon on Christmas in Celebration of the Nativity of the Lord

Wherefore He became flesh, so that He Whom heaven did not contain, a manger would this day receive. He was placed in a manger, so that He, by whom all things arc nourished, may receive an infant’s food from His Virgin Mother. So, the Father of all ages, as an infant at the breast, nestles in the virginal arms, that the Magi may more easily see Him. Since this day the Magi too have come, and made a beginning of withstanding tyranny; and the heavens give glory, as the Lord is revealed by a star.

To Him, then, Who out of confusion has wrought a clear path, to Christ, to the Father, and to the Holy Ghost, we offer all praise, now and for ever. Amen.

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A God Who Keeps His Promises – Second Meditation of Advent

A God Who Keeps His Promises – Second Meditation of Advent

During those 600 years of waiting, the cry of every faithful Israelite must have been, “How Long, O Lord, How Long?” But no matter how great the darkness, no matter how impossible the situation seemed, God did not fail in his promises. To the contrary he fulfilled them more abundantly than they could have ever imagined. He fulfilled them in Christ.

As you look to the Christ child this Christmas, see there not simply a babe in a manger, but the supreme and earth-shattering evidence of a God who does not fail in his word, even when we fail him. For he is the God is the God of Love, the God who keeps His promises.

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The Power of Yes – First Meditation of Advent

The Power of Yes – First Meditation of Advent

Mary was confident that, although this call on her life would cost her everything, it would not be at her expense…No, she was central to the purposes of that call because by it, she, too, would not only be saved but also honored. “All generations will call me blessed” she says, in confidence that the fulfillment of God’s call rested not on the whims of man but in His faithfulness, for His plans are not to harm his faithful ones, but to prosper them and give them a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

Wherever He has called you, wherever He is asking you to serve Him right here and now, however great the sacrifice to your dreams or even your life know this:…You are not simply His instrument, but His beloved child whom He delights to use not only for his glory, but for your good.

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Instruments or Obstacles of Grace? – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Instruments or Obstacles of Grace? – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

The question is, how would we fare if we were in their shoes? Because there is one thing of which we can be certain—God’s grace is ceaselessly reaching into the lives of the lost, seeking to draw them to Christ. Will we, then, be instruments of that grace or obstacles? Will we help draw others to Christ through the same availability and hospitality we see here in Christ–even to the most despised sinners? Or will we, like the crowd, shut them out from encountering God’s transforming love because we are so conditioned by our own judgments of others that we don’t have eyes to see God’s grace in their lives?

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Following Christ – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Following Christ – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

If, then, following Jesus is the more demanding command, why order the rich man sell and give? Because this was the concrete incarnate way this particular man was to follow Jesus; it was his particular cross. Paul says of the meaning of the Cross: “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich”(II Cor. 8:9) Isn’t that what he asked of this man? Isn’t that what he asks of us, each in our own way? And since comparative material wellbeing is the lot of most of us, will not our cross of sacrificial love involve, in part, sacrificial giving to the poor as well?

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Praying Grace for Others – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Praying Grace for Others – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

When I pray these short prayers…I find that the wellbeing of every person becomes important to me. I find I treat each person I meet better–less as a “thing” or a “tool” for my benefit, and more as a real person to love and to cherish…Perhaps this practice may seem artificial to you. I would suggest it is not…If we pray for someone when we meet them and as we leave them, everything in between will be bathed in our love and, we can be sure, God’s grace. What could be better?

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A Faith that Saves – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

A Faith that Saves – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Jesus says that it is this faith which made him well. The word used here comes from the word sozo, which can also mean ‘to save’. There can be no doubt that this is what is implied here, for he had already been healed. The physical healing he received from Jesus was an immense grace and a foretaste of the complete wholeness and salvation Jesus came to bring him and the other lepers. But it was only a foretaste. Only through faith—a constant living into that healing through obedience, trust and gratitude expressed in worship—could he be made completely well, could he be saved.

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All for One – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

All for One – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

At the heart of the gospel is the great affirmation that “we are members of the body of Christ and individually members one of another”. That is, as the Three Musketeers would say, it is “All for one and one for all”. This is how we are to live and this is how we are to serve. The fact that we all let each other down in this, sometimes severely, does not change this fact at all. That is why the foundational ideals of the church are love, loyalty, and mutual service but the practical virtues that express this are patience, forbearance, and forgiveness.

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