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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Aug 07, 2014 | Comments (0)


Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the Tenth 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?

 

Because I’m worth it.

We do not do something of value to be valued. We feel valued in His grace to do a work of value.

Pray this prayer from the Collect for this Sunday:

”Almighty God, Give us grace to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life.”

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

“Almighty God, Give us grace to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life.”

Did you feel the difference?

 

Matthew 15:21-28 “Send her away!”

Oops! I Didn’t Know the Mike was on.

Do you read this scripture literally comparing the story with life? Or do you read this scripture spiritually using the story to compare and contrast the differences being in or out of grace makes in our life?

In verse 27, Jesus said to her, "Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." This parable is the difference between what you think rationally and how you think spiritually:

  • Rational understanding looks at the facts for the meaning.
  • Spiritual understanding looks at the meaning for the facts.

Jesus is preparing His Disciples for His final days in Jerusalem. They are in a quiet place in Tyre, a Gentile area away from Judea. A Gentile woman was interrupting their group with her cries for her daughter.

This scripture gives the commentators trouble. Why would the loving and graceful Jesus be so curt, rude, and judgmental toward an innocent person in distress because of her daughter’s affliction?

The rational will make the woman as the center of the lesson. They think Jesus insulted her to see if she really believed. The spiritual will go past what is written to understand what is not written. It is to look past these two and look to the Disciples for understanding. Who are these guys?

We know of the possible Zealot background of most of them.  They expected Jesus to bring on the Kingdom of David after His resurrection. Acts 1:6 They wanted to separate themselves from the “Gentile dogs.” The Gospel of Matthew says that “the Disciples came imploring Him to send her away because she keeps shouting at us.”

These Disciples were not open to Gentiles. “Gentiledogs” was one word. Jesus did not respond to her need for healing of her daughter because He wanted to see if His Disciples would. They were not interested. You heal her and send her away, the Gentiledog!

Jesus was offended and disappointed at their reaction. His back was to the woman. He did not hear her quietly and reverently approach Him. He wanted to shape up and shock the Disciples. He said to them, not to the woman, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs.” He expected the disciples to be shocked to hear the Lover of all to say these words. It might wake them up.

She heard what He said and responded, "Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." Oops! Jesus was shocked she heard it. He turned and said to her, "For saying that, you may go--the demon has left your daughter." She went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. There was a lot more work to be done to prepare His Disciples in how Love works.

Rational thinking may not accept this interpretation by looking at the facts. Spiritual thinking may understand it by looking beyond the immediate story. What matters most is how we understand the Gospel. Understanding is not about facts. It is a feeling. If the Disciples could have understood the feelings of Jesus and the woman, they might have responded in a more positive way.

Understanding the feelings of Jesus, the Disciples, and the woman can bring more meaning to our lives. The lesson for us is to take more time to understand the feelings of those both in and outside of our circle of friends and family. It is not only for their sake but for ours as well. It is called spiritual understanding.

How much can you consciously feel, not rationally understand, the feelings of those closest to you? Tell them not what you think but what you hear they feel.

“Almighty God, Give us grace to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life.”


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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