facebooktwitteremail

Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Sep 04, 2014 | Comments (0)


Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

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

 

The appliance of science: Forgiveness is the appliance of the science of grace to us.

Pray this prayer from the Collect for this Sunday:

”O God, without you we are not able to please you, grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts.”

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

“O God, without you we are not able to please you, grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts.”

Did you feel the difference?

 

Matthew 18:21-35 “How often should I forgive?”

Do you read this scripture literally by comparing the story with today? Do you read this scripture gracefully using the story to compare and contrast the differences between forgiving and not forgiving?

Peter is asking “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.” In other words, “there is no end to forgiveness.” My heavenly Father will not forgive you if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.

When we are out of the Presence we look for an excuse to blame someone else for our anger. The feeling of the Love of God in the Presence is unconditional. Love is a choice. Peter is looking for the “that does it” moment when he no longer has to act as a Christian. It must be their fault because they made me angry.

A mature Christian knows that Love is not a choice. The choice is either spiritual Life in the Spirit or death out of it. It is a command when you consider the alternative.

One of the most misunderstood words in our language is “forgiveness”. We need to know what it is not, what it is and to know how to do it.

Forgiveness does not mean what was done was alright and we can start all over as if nothing ever happened. If your best friend cheats you and you forgive them it does not mean you have to trust them. You may or may not decide to confront them after you forgave them. That is up to you.

For some, unforgiveness depends on what was done. They think, “I can never forgive them for what they did.” For others, unforgiveness depends on who did it. They think, “They betrayed me. I can never forgive them.” Or we can think, “I can never forgive myself for what I did.”

Forgiveness has nothing to do with what was done or whether it was you or the other who did it. It has everything to do with the kind of life you choose to live.

I held a workshop on forgiveness. Afterwards a woman came up to me. She was furious as she angrily spit out, “How can you tell me to forgive?” She went on telling me her daughter was raped and brutally murdered by this stranger. He was convicted for life. She added he has been in prison for the past seven years. She said, “I have been angry, depressed, in great pain for the loss and what he did to my daughter.”

It just came to me to ask her, “Do you want him to own you?” She jerked back almost as if she had been hit with a bolt of electricity. “NO” she cried. I responded, “Well he has owned you for the past seven years.”

She had held the pain and the anger against him and what he had done. It was destroying her. Whether he felt guilty, sorry or felt nothing, it had little to do with how she felt. Her forgiveness was not for him. It was needed for herself.

When our boys were young they had certain chores to do.  One evening it was their chore to wash the dishes. They both rebelled and refused to do it. My response was that they had a choice to either do the dishes in this evening or clean the garage Saturday morning. They argued it was not a choice. I won, and the dishes were done.

 

Out of the Presence it seems to be impossible to love unconditionally. In the Presence it is not a choice. The power of the Love of God in our life can only be discovered by doing it. So do it!

 

“Without you we are not able to please you, grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts.”


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.


Comments (0)







Allowed tags: <b><i><br>Add a new comment:


Copyright 2008-2011 Paul Edwards