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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Jul 03, 2014 | Comments (0)


Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.

All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. He is the complete revelation of God’s will of grace for salvation. Grace is the only unfailing rule of faith and practice for the Christian life.

The Gospel of grace is: rather than trying to be more faithful to become faithful, we become faithful by feeling the Faith God already has for and in us.

The Strength of Christianity is Grace

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Another name for Jesus is "Grace". Another name for God is "Grace". We are saved by GRACE. "Love" is not Love if it is not grace. This is true for "Faith", "Hope", "Joy" and all other theological words of significance in the scripture.

Until someone experiences the grace gift in their lives, all other theological words have no real meaning. Why not begin to use the word "grace" in place of "Jesus", "God", "the Spirit", "Love" and so on? It might seem inappropriate to do so. However, until it is actually experienced it will make no sense at all.

That is what this year is all about. Grace, did you get it?

 

We love to fly in grace and it showsWe have with in us a Wisdom that is given to us by grace. Learn what “to listen” means spiritually.

Pray this prayer from the Collect for this Sunday:

”O Lord, grant that we may have grace and power to accomplish your will.”

Now quietly move into God's Presence and pray the prayer again:

“O Lord, grant that we may have grace and power to accomplish your will.”

Did you hear anything different?

 

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 “Let anyone with ears, listen!”

There is a difference between the Greek rational mind and the Hebrew Spiritual mind. The Greek mind comes from a background of rational philosophy, such as Aristotle and Plato. The Hebrew mind comes from a background of spiritual experiences such as Abraham and David. This causes some problems. Jesus spoke to the spiritual mind while the Greek words were written for the rational mind. It is up to the reader to make the transition from the rational to the spiritual.

An example of this is the New Testament Greek translation of the Hebrew term meshalim as a “parable”. Meshalim in Hebrew refers to a "mysterious speech” the speaker couches in story-form. There is no such word in Greek for it. The use of the term “parable”is a story designed to reveal a religious principle, a moral lesson, or general truth. A parable teaches by comparison with real or literal occurrences.  A meshalim is an illustration of a real life experience. Jesus tells His disciples the secret of the Kingdom of God.

The secret is given to those who are in the Kingdom. They are hidden from those who are not. Those out will never be able to perceive rationally or see spiritually the truth. It can only be known by the experience of being in the Presence. In the Greek rational world of reason we learn to be able to do. In the Hebrew spiritual world of grace we do to learn.

This parable can be read rationally or experienced spiritually. The meaning of the seed on the ground is when we hear the word of the Kingdom and lose it because we do not understand it.

The meaning of the seed sown on rocky ground is when we hear the word and immediately receive it with joy but when trouble arises we immediately fall away.

The meaning of the seed sown among thorns is when we hear the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word and we yield nothing.

The seed on good soil is when we hear the word and understand it. We bear the fruit of the Spirit.

Rationally we now know what we must avoid and what we must do. We must avoid not understanding the word, falling away in time of trouble, being lured by the riches of this world. We need to know to get on good ground where we can bear the fruit of the spirit.

If this is all we get out of this teaching we might as well just go home!

There is a lot here that can dump guilt on all of us. The guilt comes when we do not understand the scripture, or we fall away by being lured with the riches and troubles of the worlds. There is the opportunity to dump more guilt by telling us to do more, pray more, read the Bible more, give more, love more, forgive more, go to church more, serve more and so on. All of this is very rational and very irrelevant!

When we are out of the Presence we cannot understand the spiritual nature of the parable. There is plenty we too often do to have poor soil. We depend on the material things to create our life. We depend on things going well for us to be at peace and feel happy. When troubles come we fall out of what we created.

The missing link is to know how we cultivate the good soil. Jesus tells us, “Let anyone with ears listen!” What are we listening for? We are listening for what is not there that we already know. Jesus is talking about hearing spiritually. The rational intellect cannot understand any of this. It can only be discerned in the silent moment. We listen for the the “still small voice of God”. It simply takes opening our heart to the Presence within.

When we are consciously in the Presence with an open heart there is nothing else we need do. The seed produces the fruit. Outside of the Presence we work on making the poor sandy ground we are built on more solid. In the Presence of a wondering, open heart we stand on the Rock.

Did you get the grace?

“O Lord, grant that we may have grace and power to accomplish your will.”


THE DISCIPLE-SHIFT: The Virtual Small Group: Members share once a week with their group through the internet when a shift from being out to being in the Presence made a difference.


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