Building on a Firm Foundation, Wednesday Morning Revisited

“Your will be done on earth as in heaven.”

St. Paul’s statement of reality, which we confess in our Epistle Reflection this morning, is also a challenge to us.  Do we show that we are God’s servants?  When people see how we react to troubles, difficulties and hardships, do our actions in response to these circumstances show that we are God’s servants?  Any one of us could be the first, or only, person that some other ever meets, who associates their name with Jesus’.  As Jesus’ ambassadors, are each of us showing that we are His servants?

This morning, we might consider whose will is done in our lives – we know how we’ve been taught to pray.

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Building on a Firm Foundation, Tuesday Evening Revisited

“Your Kingdom come on earth as in heaven.”

How often we seek ourselves: our own name, our own fame, our own pleasure, our own benefit, our own advancement, our own happiness.  Not all of it is done to the exclusion of other people receiving the same.  But for all of the self-seeking that we do, our Lord teaches us to pray for His Kingdom to come.  Not our own.  In Luke 17:10 Jesus says, “…when you are done all you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done.’”  Jesus’ teaching flies in the face of feelings of entitlement, or of earning our worth.

These evening, we might reflect on how we live: how do our lives advance God’s Kingdom on earth?

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Building on a Firm Foundation, Tuesday Morning Revisited

“Your Kingdom come on earth as in heaven.”

I’m struck by image of putting on Christ (like a garment), this morning.  It is used elsewhere in St. Paul’s writing (this portion of our reflection is from Galatians 3, as I pointed out last week), where the saint draws a more complete picture of the believer taking off their old self and then putting on Christ (Ephesians 4:22-24).  We might reflect, this morning, on our own clothing.  Wolf in sheep’s clothing?  Emperor in new (and revealing) clothes?  Repentant sinner, wrapped in the righteousness of Christ?  As His identity becomes our identity more and more – as we put on Christ – how, then, does this bring His Kingdom on earth as in heaven?

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Building on a Firm Foundation, Monday Evening Revisited

“Hallowed be your name on earth as in heaven.”

Shortly after Jesus was talking to the Sadducees (see last week, Monday Evening), Jesus was approached by the Pharisees.  It is these ones who ask Him what the greatest commandment is, and He quotes Deuteronomy 6:

“‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (NRSV)

Tonight we reflect on Jesus’ words.  Sometimes we call this the Summary of the Law.  We might consider, this evening, our love for God.  With, or without, our whole heart?  Or, our love for our neighbours.  As, or not as, ourselves?

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Building on a Firm Foundation, Friday Morning

“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.”

The Epistle Reflection this morning is drawn, in part, from Romans 5:6-8.  St. Paul is making a point: we are unworthy of God’s mercy; undeserving of God’s favour.  “While we were yet sinners…” He still loved us.  “While we were yet sinners…” He came to earth for us.  “While we were yet sinners…” we were rightly separated from God, who is righteous.  And yet, such is the love of God for us that He died for us while we were yet sinners.

Our meditative time this morning might be spent considering how deep the Father’s love for us is, that undeserving He would still forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

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Building on a Firm Foundation, Thursday Evening

“Give us today our daily bread.”

Our Gospel Reflection this evening is taken from John 15.  Perhaps this week you will choose to reflect on the image of the Vine.  Jesus is speaking, and He is illustrating the deep need that His followers have to draw their life from Him, as the branch does from the vine.  His point is to mind us toward our dependence on Him.  He uses a powerful image.

In our meditation this evening, we could reflect on the question begged by Jesus’ words: where is my life rooted?  We might move to orient our lives in ways that are appropriate for people who pray: Our Father, give us today our daily bread.

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Building on a Firm Foundation, Thursday Morning

“Give us today our daily bread.”

The opening stanza of the Epistle Reflection that accompanies our reflection this morning is taken from 2 Corinthians 9:6-7.  St. Paul is writing concerning a special collection that is being taken for other Christians, and he seems to want to make sure that everything is in order, for it, before he arrives so that it doesn’t take up any of his time while present.  His reminder to the Corinthians, is about their attitude toward material wealth and possessions.  Their attitude, in giving to the Church, should be one that is familiar to our lips: All things come of Thee, O Lord, and of Thine own have we given Thee.

Our meditation this morning could be around God’s provision for His people, as He provides for our needs.  Our Father, give us today our daily bread.

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Building on a Firm Foundation, Wednesday Evening

Part of our Gospel Reflection this evening draws on Matthew 5:44, where Jesus is building up to His great statement of hopeful expectation and standard of living for His followers: Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  Good fruit is produced by good trees – we can’t fake perfection.  But from who we are inside, the “me” that God has made me, proceeds love for enemies, good treatment toward haters, blessing for those who curse us, prayer for those who treat us badly.

How we each treat others is a reflection of, or the fruit of, who we are – it should not be a reaction based on what we’re receiving from others.  This evening we could consider this, as we reflect on God’s will being done on earth as in heaven.

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Building on a Firm Foundation, Wednesday Morning

If you look at 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, you’ll find the verses that our Epistle Reflection is based on, this morning.  St. Paul’s argument is that the fact we are God’s servants is made evident through the way we face negative circumstances, and by the positive characteristics evident in our lives.  He ends with these somewhat paradoxical statements about seeming poor, but making many rich; seeming empty, but possessing all.

You could consider, this morning, how life’s circumstances can – at times – seem contrary to the good plans we trust God has for us, even leading us to question God’s plan at times.  That’s just a suggestion – if God is moving your considerations elsewhere, I welcome you to follow.  May God’s will be done on earth as in heaven!

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Building on a Firm Foundation, Tuesday Evening

Our Gospel reflection this evening is taken from Luke 22:25-27, where Jesus is resolving a dispute among His disciples as to which of them is greatest, and from Matthew 20:28/Mark 10:45, where Jesus is addressing the request of James and John to receive the seats of honour in His Kingdom (there are other passages, also – next week!).  In both cases Jesus is faced with His disciples making power plays against each other.

Our reflection time this evening could be on the subversive strength of serving others – for this is the way of His Kingdom.  It flies in the face of all power-plays and political positioning.  Your Kingdom come on earth as in heaven.

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