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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Oct 16, 2014 | Comments (0)


Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

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

 

You know when you've been trumped: sometimes the answer we have is not the grace answer.

Pray this prayer from the Collect for this Sunday:

“Almighty God, preserve the works of your mercy that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith.”

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

“Almighty God, preserve the works of your mercy that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith.”

Did you feel the difference?

 

Matthew 22:34-46 “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two Commandments.”

Do you read this scripture literally or spiritually? Spiritually is to understand the difference between the two.

Reading it literally, you end up with a legalistic Jesus. Literally, this means that Jesus made faulty interpretations and applications of Scripture. He was either biblically ignorant, a lazy Bible student or perhaps had not been exposed to better models of ministry. He was trying to earn merit with God for His salvation. He was hopefully laboring for the Lord that He might receive His commendation of being faithful in message, motive, and ministry. The paradox in Scripture is that God graciously rewarded Him for faithful obedience while simultaneously reminding Him that He was an unprofitable servant and that when He served Him He did that which is dutifully expected. Understanding the difference between literal and spiritual interpretation shows the faultiness of the literal interpretation.

This story is one of the most significant stories in the Scripture. A lawyer asked Jesus a question to test him, “Which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus told him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

These Commandments are what the Transfiguration is all about. There was Jesus, Elijah and Moses. What did they all have in common? Much! They were talking to Jesus about their Exodus. Each one was involved in a type of exodus experience. Elijah was caught up in whirlwind and the flaming chariot. Moses led the Exodus of the children of Israel out of the slavery in Egypt. Now Jesus was to have His Exodus being resurrected from the grave.

Peter displayed his rational understanding by saying, “Rabbi it is good we are here. Let us make three booths, one for you one for Elijah and one for Moses.” Mark adds almost in astonishment. “He did not know what he was saying.”

What is wrong with the three booths? We can always come back here to the Mount to pray to gain spiritual awakening. We can gather around the grave in Jerusalem or go to the Chapel of His birthplace, Bethlehem. This will be one more place we can use to feel good about what happened.

According to John, the Law was given by Moses, who represented all the Law. Elijah represented all the prophets. Jesus’ words are that on the two great Commandments to love God and love others as we love ourselves hang all the Law and the Prophets. This changes everything in the scriptures. Whatever is written in either the Old or the New Testaments, the answer is to always to do the loving thing.

What is the one thing our rational intelligence does not get? We know what to do, but we do not know how to do it. As a matter of fact, we rationally cannot know how. How to do it means we become conscious to feel His Presence. His Law of Love is not something we can do out of the Presence. To do this we need to be in the Presence of God’s Love.

Spiritual understanding does not need exercises or pilgrimages to find the Joy of the Presence. Suddenly a cloud covered them all. When the cloud was gone there was only Jesus. That is all we need. That is all we have. His Presence is the unconditional and inclusive grace of God.

The best evidence we have are found in the Gospels and St. Paul’s writings. The best proof we have is to abide in Jesus. The greatest problem we have is difficulty in finding a person or a site that teaches how to abide in Jesus.

If you do not know how to teach others how to abide, do you want to learn? Find a person or a site that teaches you how. This is one of the few sites that do just that. It teaches the grace program.

You have to be careful how you think. You may think this is another “self-help” program. You stop trying to get others to help you and now you start helping yourself. If self-help programs really worked, there would be only one of them. Yet they keep on coming because they do not work.

The best way to describe the grace program is to go back to Jerry Maguire where Jerry says to his client, “Help me help you.” This is what God is saying to us. The one thing that leads us into trouble is our autoimmune thinking. Autoimmune thinking is thought from the head that attacks the feelings of the heart. It is the heart that can self-correct this way of thinking. We need to help God help us by opening our heart to His Presence. When we sense His Peace, Love and Joy that is within us it over comes these thoughts and we find our wisdom and balance to life.

To “get” grace has two meanings. One is spiritual, that is to experience His Presence. The other is rational, that means to know how to do it.

Did you get the grace?

“Almighty God, Preserve the works of your mercy that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith.


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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