Good morning. It is pre-Friday, September 25, 2014.
Today is Psychotherapy Day, so I’ll give a shout out to our daughter, Rachel, who is studying to be a Psychologist.
Well, my case of the “crud” is moving on down to my chest. The good thing about that is it seems to be moving quickly through its course, and my throat isn’t nearly as sore today as it was yesterday. Of course, I will be coughing a lot soon. Christi is feeling much better. In her own words, she started feeling “human again,” yesterday afternoon.
We learned yesterday that one of the sons of a family that has been coming to our church has Juvenile Dermatomyositis. I was especially interested in this, since my father has Inclusion Body Myositis, in the same family of diseases. In Dermatomyositis, the muscle weakness has something to do with inflammation of the blood vessels in the skin. Or something like that. Several years ago, I had never heard of Myositis, and now I know two people who have it. It is a very uncommon disease.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
(From The Divine Hours)
Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!
We bless you from the house of the LORD.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
“Grant that I, Lord, may not be anxious about earthly things, but love things heavenly;
and even now, while I am placed among things that are passing away, hold fast to those
that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
Today’s Gospel Reading
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
This is the conclusion of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. It reminds me of two things. First, there was a children’s song I remember singing when I was a young boy, “The wise man built his house upon the rock, house upon the rock, house upon the rock . . .” I’m sure it had motions. Most of the songs we sang had motions. The other thing it reminds me of is this:
I always think of Big Tent Revival’s “Two Sets of Joneses” when I read this passage.
Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “The Inner Child.”
“If the Pharisee is the religious face of the impostor, the inner child is the religious face of the true self.” It is here that we discover “a winsome wedding of psychology and spirituality.” The point of psychology is to discover neuroses and, in doing so, move the patient away from the deceptions of their neuroses, their lack of authenticity, “toward a childlike openness to reality.” Jesus gently nudged toward a similar state when he said, “unless you become like little children.”
There is a stark difference between the inner child and the Pharisee. One is “aware of his feelings and uninhibited in their expression.” The other “edits feelings and makes a stereotyped response to life situations.” Brennan follows this up by sharing a story of Jacqueline Kennedy’s first visit to the Vatican. The Pope (then John XXIII) asked an advisor what the proper way would be to greet her. He was told that it would be proper to say, “Madame” or “Mrs. Kennedy.” “The secretary left, and a few minutes later the First Lady stood in the doorway. The Pope’s eyes lit up. He trundled over, threw his arms around her and cried, “Jacqueline!”
For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord.
Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.
1 Corinthians 7:22
Father, there is still, at time, too much of the Pharisee within me. I pray for more release of my inner child. Help me to see life with the joyful eyes and innocence of a child, being unafraid to express the feelings that result. Help me to love unconditionally, as a child would love. May the life of Christ be the life that expresses itself through my life. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth. Help me to express my “true self” in you, Lord.
I pray for this day, that we would, once again, have safe travel to and from work. I pray that Christi continues to feel better, and that my cold would works its way through quickly. I pray for a good work day for both of us. I also ask for your gracious mercy and love for Stephanie, that you would draw her closer to your heart. I pray for healing of the pain that Rachel has been having in her hand.
I also lift up our sister, Cindy. A heart irregularity was found while she was under anesthesia for knee surgery. I pray for your healing hand on her, Lord.
Your grace is sufficient.
May we all let loose our inner child as we follow Jesus.
Grace and peace, friends.