Freedom II (# 1061)

5 09 2016
  1. Continuing with last weeks source for the readings, for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost they are: I Kings 17:8-16; Galatians 5:25-6:11 and Matthew 6:24-34. I the Epistle sounds familiar, it is because these are the verses following last week’s Epistle beginning with advice about living a spiritual live:

25  If our lives are centered in the Spirit, let us be guided by the Spirit.
26 Let us not be ambitious for our own reputations, for that only means making each other jealous.
Even if a man should be detected in some sin, my brothers, the spiritual ones among you should quietly set him back on the right path, not with any feeling of superiority but being yourselves on guard against temptation.
Carry each other’s burdens and so live out the law of Christ. ….
3-4 If a man thinks he is “somebody”, he is deceiving himself, for that very thought proves that he is nobody. Let every man learn to assess properly the value of his own work and he can then be glad when he has done something worth doing without dependence on the approval of others.
For every man must “shoulder his own pack”.
The man under Christian instruction should be willing to contribute towards the livelihood of his teacher.
7-10 Don’t be under any illusion: you cannot make a fool of God! A man’s harvest in life will depend entirely on what he sows. If he sows for his own lower nature his harvest will be the decay and death of his own nature. But if he sows for the Spirit he will reap the harvest of everlasting life by that Spirit. Let us not grow tired of doing good, for, unless we throw in our hand, the ultimate harvest is assured. Let us then do good to all men as opportunity offers, especially to those who belong to the Christian household.

-J.B.Philips Verson

Lots of advice here starting with not feeling puffed up about our position in life; this is a major source of pain and unhappiness in the twentieth century workplace and beyond, Not only does it make others jealous, but it goes both ways; it makes us jealous as well. We should be more concerned with the way we treat people. The second piece of advice is not to lord it over others who commit transgressions; we are all in this together.

The advice to contribute to one’s teacher is interesting. Churches support their ministers. Students pay tuition at colleges and universities. Buddhist pupils brought gifts when approaching a teacher for teaching.

The last paragraph is a bit like karma. One’s behavior has repercussions. When we are kind it not only has an effect on the person receiving the kindness but it spreads to us as well. We are the happiest when making others happy.

2. The Gospel reading has that wonderful poetic metaphor:

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

-King James Version

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