Monday, January 28, 2008

Ordinary Time: Monday, January 28, 2008

Old Testament Lesson

This may be first instance in the Bible of a "tithe."  Abram gives to Melchizedek 1/10 of everything he has as a way of thanking God and of giving to God what is already him. 

OK, I'm going to stop now and promise you the rest of this reflection is not going to be about tithing. 

Now, I'm back. What it is going to be about though is giving out of a thankful heart. Abram gave to the priest of God out of thanks for all that God had done for him in his journey.  He gave out of thanksgiving and out of a sense of joy.  He didn't do it because he had to.  He didn't do it because he was forced to.  He didn't do it out of a sense of fear.  

He did it because he loved God and wanted to give back to a God that had given him so much. Friends, the Lord has blessed us in many, many ways.  Life may not be perfect, but God is good.  Let's given to him, not just money, but our lives, our hearts, all that we are. And let's give to him with a sense of thanksgiving.   

New Testament Lesson

We see the reminder from the Old Testament within this passage that God says He will write His law upon our hearts.  That is the thing that He is most worried about, a changed heart.  Change works inside out.  Our heart is changed, and that shows forth through all of our lives.  As our hearts are changed, as our hearts are drawn closer to God, then our lives will be changed in accordance. And our hearts are changed by walking closer to God in all of life: through prayer, through study, through fellowship, through walking close to God and to His people.  In this, our hearts and our lives will be changed.  

Gospel Lesson

One of things we see in John's Gospel is the power of signs.  People are always looking this Gospel for Jesus to do something, show them something, and then they will believe.  They want sight, then belief. 

But, it doesn't normally work like that.  When we believe, then we see. The official believed, and then his son was healed.  Then, when others saw, they believed. But first, that belief had to come. Belief comes, faith comes, trust come, and then sight. Without faith, miracles are hard to see. With faith, every day of our life, every day we draw breath, we will see miracles.  If you believe, you will see.  

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