Posts Tagged ‘ gifts ’

Torn Loved Ligament

The Daily Selectionary

Monday, January 17, 2011

Today’s Readings:

Daily Office Readings: (AM) Psalm 25;(PM) Psalm 9, 15
Isa. 44:6-8,21-23; Eph. 4:1-16; Mark 3:7-19a

Eucharistic ReadingsHeb. 5:1-10; Psalm 110; Mark 2:18–22

 

Torn Loved Ligament

Christopher Hodge

 

Ephesians 4:1-16

1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. 7 But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.” 9 (When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) 11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

                It amazes me how connected we all are.  We were all birthed out of the same moment of creation.  If we are the products of a six day sovereign God view, or a big bang in the darkness of the universe thought pattern, whether or not God pulled the trigger and created scientific theories, it makes no matter other than that all of creation is connected.  When the wind blows through the rustling leaves of a two hundred year old Live Oak, and that breeze brushes my hair and whispers in my ears, I start to feel the connection to all of which has been created; The squirrel on the massive limb along with the Brown Thrasher singing, hidden under the canopy of green connects with my consciousness and places it all together.  If we can block out the sound of cars and the stenches and poisons of human irresponsibility, if we will just allow ourselves to feel, it will be easy to acknowledge the interchange.

                In the reading from the selection from Ephesians today, Paul deals with our connectivity to the Spirit of Christ.  “But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,  from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.”  Paul is not giving an anatomy lesson.  Nor is he speaking of the mechanics of just one simple human body.  He is using the knowledge he had been taught in anatomy and making a parallel to the workings of a human body to that as the “body of Christ” as a whole.  Paul is saying that because of Christ’s love for us, he has given us all gifts out of his love.  We are connected to Christ.  It is through his followers that his love can travel, become mobile, and extend to all hearts across the vastness of the planet.

                But just as we are out of synch with our whole selves when one part of our body is not performing in its full capacity, so is the whole body of Christ when one of it’s members is not performing to its fullest.  The state of the church currently is wounded for sure.  There are torn ligaments slowing the maturity and growth of the love of Christ within us.  Because the whole body is not at one hundred percent, those aching tendons make the body of Christ cranky.  Look at the many warring factions of Christianity in the world.  Instead of embracing the differences and diversities and looking to see how each individual parts work to promote healthy workings of love as a whole, the body has been turning on itself.  And if Christ is the Head, imagine the headache that the warring ligaments have caused him.

                I have wondered much what it will take to get all body parts working together instead of rejecting each other.  I have at times been cynical if the body will ever work at full capacity.  If Christ is love and we are all part of Christ, and we are now making up his body on Earth, imagine what the world would look like if that body of love were free to roam about without the pain of torn ligaments.  If the body could function properly and work in the same direction, then the Kingdom of Heaven would finally be free to glisten and glimmer in the light of the sun on the Earth.

Daily Scripture readings are taken from The Revised Common Lectionary and can be read in full at www.satucket.com/lectionary.  NRSV translation of the Holy Scriptures.  Please feel free to pass along this devotion to whomever you feel may benefit from it. – © Christopher Hodge  2011   email: ChristopherHodgeWriter@gmail.com

On the Chopping Block

The Daily Selectionary

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Today’s Readings:

Daily Office Readings: (AM) Psalm 20, 21:1-7(8-14); (PM) Psalm 110:1-5(6-7), 116, 117   
Isa. 43:1-13; Eph. 3:14-21; Mark 2:23-3:6 

Eucharistic ReadingsHeb. 4:12-16
Psalm 19:7-14; Mark 2:13-17

 

On the Chopping Block

Christopher Hodge

 

Ephesians 3:14-21

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,* 15from whom every family* in heaven and on earth takes its name. 16I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 18I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.

                We have all found ourselves on our very own chopping blocks at one time or the other.  We are all born into this world and are given special gifts and talents.  Our dreams of who we wish we would become are birthed out of these gifts from God which he has placed within us.    Yet, so many times these desires lay dormant.  They may hold a prominent place in our lives while we are still playing as children.  A young girl who pretends that she is a famous singer may have a talent that could propel her to indeed become one later in life.  A young boy who spends his time alone in his room creating objects from his Play-Do could be exercising a talent that he could use later in life to become an influential artist.  Children do all sorts of things, and many times we pass their play time away as just kids being kids. 

                Maybe this is where our blocks come from as adults.  Somewhere during our passage into adulthood we were forced to throw away our passions because we were told it was time to grow up; to leave our play time behind us and to find a suitable trade that will give us money so we can get married and raise a typical American family.  After all, digging around in clay will not feed our kids, or buy the new washing machine when it goes kaput. 

                Most of us have given up on the things that make us happy, that make us become ourselves for the sake of popular conformity.  Even though we kicked off our ballerina slippers and hid our colored chalks in a drawer to become doctors, electricians, lawyers and automobile mechanics, at the end of the day there is something nagging at us making us feel that we have somehow let ourselves down.  We may watch a movie or read a book and find ourselves become instantly depressed.  There was a character we related to that was performing a work and lived a life that we strongly desired we would have done.  We go to sleep and wake up the next day and leave those desires behind for the sake of our “safe” jobs.

                There is no doubt in my mind that these inklings within us are formed before the beginning of our first cry.  God had a plan in mind for each one of us and has given us the tools necessary to see that we make it happen.  We may think that it is easier said than done.  But as long as we hide our talents and our gifts from ourselves and from the world, we will always have that constant nagging in our hearts prompting us to wonder what could have been. 

                Are you doing what you are supposed to be doing?  Are you fulfilling your dreams?  I admit that I am extremely guilty of placing my gifts on hold.  Now, at 34, I have finally embraced them again and I am finding that there has been an explosion of energy within my spirit.  I am getting back in touch with that child who used to be free.  ”Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.”  The old cliché that it is never too late is entirely true. 

                Let us make a commitment to each other that we will schedule a play date with our inner child sometime this next week, maybe even today.  Have a tea party with the younger you and have a conversation with her.  What part of your talk opened you up?  What do you want to be when you grow up?  Can we make a commitment to ourselves to allow ourselves to become what God set out for us to do?

Daily Scripture readings are taken from The Revised Common Lectionary and can be read in full at www.satucket.com/lectionary.  NRSV translation of the Holy Scriptures.  Please feel free to pass along this devotion to whomever you feel may benefit from it. – © Christopher Hodge  2011   email: ChristopherHodgeWriter@gmail.com