Today is Wednesday, July 12, 2017. Day 21,671.
“Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn’t start a conversation.” ~ Kin Hubbard
The Quotations Page
The word of the day is onerous, an adjective meaning, “involving, imposing, or constituting a burden.”
Today is Simplicity Day. What a great thought! Simplicity is one of the Spiritual Disciplines. It is one of the disciplines of abstinence, going along with silence and solitude. Engaging in simplicity is a great way to get our minds off of the complexities that distract us and become focused on what really matters.
Did I mention we had peaches? I can’t remember. A work friend went to a peach festival in a nearby town, Saturday. We couldn’t go because we had lunch plans with our Egyptian friends, so I gave him $20 to get us some peaches. He brought me a bag of somewhere around eighteen large peaches, totally ripe, and smelling wonderful. C and I each took one to work with us yesterday, and they were delicious! Last night, she made some cookies, using the peaches, with a new recipe. They didn’t turn out as good as we hoped they would, but they are tasty. We cut up most of the rest of them and put them in the freezer, saving four of them to eat during the week. I’m thinking peach cobbler and ice cream might be in the near future.
The American League won the All Star Game last night. Not that I care. 2-1 in ten innings. Too many people would consider that a boring game. Not a true baseball fan, though. It sounds like pitching reigned in this game.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
(From The Divine Hours)
Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”
O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.
O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.
And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.
But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,
but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.
Psa 119:165 Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.
(From Practice Resurrection)
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
Eugene H. Peterson begins in the center of Ephesians. There’s a word in the verse above, translated “worthy” in English. The word in Greek is axios. Peterson says that the entire letter of Ephesians pivots on this word, which, to me, looks a lot like axis.
Axios, though, is a picture word. The picture is that of a set of balancing scales. Anyone who took physics in school remembers these scales. There’s a crossbeam balanced on a vertical pole, with pans or trays suspended from each end of the beam. A known weight, usually of lead, is placed on one pan, and the object you wish to weigh is placed on the other. When they are balanced, then we know that the weights match up. The two items are axios, worthy. They have the same value.
The items that Paul is balancing in Ephesians are “God’s calling and human living.” Look at the verse again. “I . . . urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” “When our walking and God’s calling are in balance, we are whole; we are living maturely, living responsively to God’s calling, living congruent with the way God calls us into being. Axios, worthy–mature, healthy, robust.”
The scales center the letter of Ephesians. Paul’s intent is “to keep God’s calling (chapters 1-3) and our walking (chapters 4-6) in equilibrium.” We can’t measure ourselves by ourselves, and we can’t make God into some kind of abstract, impersonal truth. “We can understand neither God nor ourselves in any living, adequate, and mature way that is an impersonal, non-relational way. When God’s calling and our walking fit, we are growing up in Christ.
“God calls; we walk.”
Father, help us to walk in the way of your calling. Help us to do what needs to be done in order to grow up in Christ, that our walking may be axios, worthy, of the calling with which you have called us. Help me to be centered today.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Grace and peace, friends.