Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blessings and Warnings

Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

Then he looked up at his disciples and said:‘Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.‘Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.‘Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
‘Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
‘But woe to you who are rich,for you have received your consolation.
‘Woe to you who are full now,for you will be hungry.‘Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.‘Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets." Luke 6:12-26

We watch the weather channel here alot. Living by the coast, a block from the ocean, we have to keep an eye on the skies and be careful about storms. Life is wonderful, but it can become treacherous pretty quickly, and when the water rises, we have to be careful of floods. During a full moon, with exceptionally high tides, and with the heavy spring rains, we are always alert. Not in danger yet, but always alert. And if the winds rise, we can lose power quickly,so we have to be prepared.

Jesus talked to the people who gathered around about the blessings of following him and choosing love over power. And he warned those who chose power and money over love and compassion. God has a way of make the high brought low, and those who were once scorned, revered holy ones. He encouraged them to seek God and love one another rather than seeking wealth and fame. Their alertness was to authentic love, authentic community and real service.

Today, I ask God to give me the courage to accept the short-term harsh conditions of being faithful, knowing that God is active and working for those who love and serve. May we all put our effort into the care and protection of the world around us, making God's love known as our only mission.

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