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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Nov 06, 2014 | Comments (0)


Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the Twenty-Third 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?

 

When you say grace, you've said it all. We have with in us a Peace. It is not ours. It has been given to us by grace.

Pray this prayer from the Collect for this Sunday:

“Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them.”

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

“Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them.”

Did you feel the difference?

 

Matthew 25:14-30 “For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

Do you read this scripture literally or gracefully? Literal reading sees what is obviously written without any understanding of grace. Reading with Grace understands what both literal and spiritual means. It is the difference between either abiding or not abiding in Jesus.

Reading literally, this is the story about a man, going on a journey. He summons his servants and entrusted his property to them. He gave five talents to one, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. When he had returned, the one with five talents made five more talents. The one with two talents made two more. The one with one talent dug a hole and hid the money. The Master said to the first two, “Well done, I will put you in charge of many things.”

The one with the one buried talent said, “I knew that you were a harsh man, gathering where you did not scatter seed. I was afraid, and hid your talent in the ground.” The master replied, “You lazy servant! I will take your talent and give it to the one with the ten.”

The moral of the story is short and sweet! Do not bury the talents God has given you.

Now wait a minute! Let us look, at the evidence again. First of all, these talents are not gifts from God. They are cash people deserved to get for their abilities: “each was given according to their ability.” The grace of God is inclusive to all and given unconditionally no matter whom it might be given to. If it was grace it would have been the same to each of the servants.

Secondly the master is not God. He is a rage-aholic and a cheat. He steals crops from places where he did not plant anything. He rages at the poor servant and takes what he has, leaving him with nothing.

What other meaning can this have? First of all what are the talents? The talents represent that which defines you and makes you happy. In the material world, the talents are money that makes life happy. Material people believe no matter how much they have, they could always use more to make them happier than they are now. The more they make the more people tell them how great they are and the more their life has meaning.

Spiritually, God gives His grace abundantly, inclusively and unconditional to all, “for God gives the Spirit without limit.” John 3:34 What in the Spiritual world makes us happy? Being in God’s Presence of Peace, Love, Joy and the Wisdom that comes with it. There are three kinds of people in this spiritual world. There are the five talented people. They are those whose hearts want to live continually in the Presence. They live the abundant Life Jesus promised.

There are the two talented people. They are those who live in and out of the Presence. Sometimes they want to be in the Presence. At other times they couldn’t care less. Their life depends on how they are thinking, moment to moment.

Then, there are the one talented people whose happiness is conditional. They live most of their life out of the Presence. They do not know nor are they interested in finding out how to live in the Presence. Their life depends on how they feel about what happens to them. Jesus said, “In Me you will have Peace. In the world you will have tribulation.” It is not constant tribulations. It is the kind of tribulations that goes up and down, more of a manic depressive condition. They see God as being unfair, cruel and unloving. They blame God because they want to reap where they did not sow, and gather where they did not scatter. Their talent is as good as taken away because they do not use it even when they have it.

Each day we have the choice to be in the five, two or one talent group. Which one of God’s servant are you today?

“Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them”

Did you get the grace?


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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