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Monday, May 11

Today’s Readings: Psalm 107:1-22; Song of Solomon 2:1-7; Matthew 8:5-17; 1 John 2:24-29; Psalm 34

It’s easy to miss subtle contradictions within scriptural passages. That’s because many of us were taught to view scripture a particular way – and that way suggested scripture could never contradict itself. If you look carefully at today’s readings from 1 John 2:27 & 1 John 2:28, you can’t help but see a contradiction. 1 John 2:27 says, “Live deeply in what you were taught.” The verse seems to encourage a dogmatic approach to one’s faith that emphasizes right belief. 1 John 2:28 takes a different approach; it says, “Live deeply in Christ.” This verse suggests a relational approach to one’s faith. So which way is it? Right belief or right relationship? Those of you who know me well, know that I despise either/or approaches toward things. Consequently, you probably won’t be shocked to hear me say, “It’s both – one’s beliefs and one’s relationships matter.” What sets me apart from my more traditional sisters and brothers is the order in which I would put the two. More traditional folks would say that you should lead with right belief. “That,” they say, “will produce right relationship.” I disagree. Too often I have seen folks profess what others might consider right belief yet live lives totally disconnected from what they profess. I believe that if you start with a vibrant spiritual relationship – then your beliefs will grow out of that healthy relationship. It is virtually impossible to separate the two if you start by tending to the relationship. So where are you in this regards? Are you a 1 John 2:27 person who seeks to live deeply in what you were taught; are you a 1 John 2:28 person who seeks to live deeply in Christ; or are you somewhere in between? Til next time…

1 comment:

Dutch said...

Common themes:

1. If we are open/venerable to the Divine in our lives (as was the centurion)

2. We will experience the Divine both as the other who loves us passionately (Song) and the Spirit who lives within and informs our being. (Who knows the Son knows the Father)

3. Being open to the Spirit of the Divine should not be taken lightly. (Song: Do not awaken love until it is ready. Psalm 107 has many warnings about the effects of Spiritual wanderings.)

4. If you are not vulnerable like the centurion; if you deny that you can experience Divine passionate love and be both the Beloved and the Lover as was Christ; then you won't.