Saturday, March 7, 2015

Lenten Meditation XVIII

inspired by Psalms 103:1-4

Today's readings feature the parable of the Prodigal Son. It's one of my favorites. I draw my lesson not from the prodigal, who probably exists in all of us to some degree, but from the good son who stayed home and obeyed his father. He was incensed to have part of his  inheritance slaughtered to celebrate the return of his profligate brother, much the same way that my namesake prophet, Jonah,  was upset when the Lord repented of the punishment he had in store for the Ninevites. It's easy to be a little jealous of the seemingly undeserved good fortune of those you deem unworthy. The trick, of course, is not to judge the worthiness or unworthiness of others. Leave the judgment to the Lord and you'll be happier for it. It won't be easy, but Lent is a good time to work on stuff like that. I'll be praying for you.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Lenten Meditation XVI

inspired by Psalms 1:1-4

My son once told me that if there is a fence around a playground, the children will roam the confined area to it's edges. However, if the fence is removed, the children will huddle in the center of the playground and not venture very far from there. A fence, in other words, is not a confinement, but something that sets the children free. It's there for their protection, and so it allows them to engage the world as they are - inquisitive and adventurous children. So it is with the Law of God. It is there, not to restrict our choices, but to set us free to become what God created us to be.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lenten Meditation XV

inspired by Matthew 20:17-28

Today's message: self-sacrifice, not self-preservation. If you're worried about what will become of you if you focus on the problems of others at the expense of your own, you're not getting it. The old saw, "God helps those that help themselves," is not the Christian ideal. God helps those who help others. That's where our minds and hearts need to be.