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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Sep 11, 2014 | Comments (0)


Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the Fifteenth 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 antidote for civilization is grace: Grace is not fair so do not expect it to be anything else than unconditional and inclusive to all.

Pray this prayer from the Collect for this Sunday:

”Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to hold fast to those that shall endure.”

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

“Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to hold fast to those that shall endure.”

Did you feel the difference?

 

Matthew 20:1-6 The Kingdom of Heaven is Like...

Part 1: The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.

Part 2: He went out several other times to hire others. At evening the owner gave them their pay. When those hired about five o'clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Those who works all the day grumbled, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who worked in the scorching heat.” But he replied. “I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Are you envious because I am generous?”

Both above texts are equated with the same meaning. It all depends on who you identify with. A literal reading might see this Parable about the worker as a tale of Christian salvation. It is not hard to identify with the grumbling workers. They toiled all day and received the same wages as those who did not work nearly as much as they did.

It is not hard to identify with the field hands who were happy because they had a job. It is more difficult to identify with the generous landowner.  It cost him a lot. He could have saved a lot of money and no one would have felt differently.

Read this scripture gracefully. It starts out, “the Kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning.” It is about the landowner, not the workers. It is about God and His Grace. Physically it may not seem to be fair. Spiritually grace is not “fair”. This is the way salvation is. The same wage is given unconditionally and inclusively to all.

It is about how we handle life, either in or out of His grace. It is important to note that the first workers may have felt angry because the others worked less and got as much pay as they did. Would you have felt the same way? If so, you would let yourself become a victim because there was nothing you could do to change the event. With that kind of thinking you would continue being a victim of past and future events.

If you could change your way of thinking about what happened you could become free of being a victim. You might have a positive thought like, “they needed the work” or “the owner is a wonderful loving person” or “it is no big deal.” Resentment hurts! Why should I do it? Sometimes we can change a thought, but unless we change our personality the old thought is still just around the corner. If we stay in the old way we will never have closure over these types of “injustices”.

How would the laborers who worked hard have thought differently if they were in the Kingdom at the start of their day? What difference does it make to you when you start your day off in the Presence of the Kingdom of God?

“Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to hold fast to those that shall endure.”


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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