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Thursday, 27 April 2017

"Going... into the Kingdom of God."

It has been a particularly pleasant morning on the balcony.  I finished planting up my planters yesterday.  I'm terribly grateful for a couple days to simply enjoy life.  Yesterday, I guided myself through a "Loving Kindness" mediation, usually when I do "Loving Kindness" I follow a guided mediation on insight timer, But leading myself through the meditation seemed to deepen it and leave me with more "residue" throughout the day.  But I did miss centering prayer and breathprayer.  I still find it at challenge to type and breath at the same time.

"I ask for the grace to pray and mediate regularly.  I ask for patience, tolerance, gentleness, compassion and empathy.  I ask to abstain from anger, anxiety, compulsive behaviour, discouragement, arrogance and self-importance.  May I know and follow Jesus more closely, seeking justice, loving kindness and walking humbly."

Matthew 21:28-32
28 ‘What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” 29He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. 30The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax-collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.

1)  "...the way of righteousness;" "...believed him;" " did not change your minds;" "...eve after you saw it;"  "...Son;" "...he changed his mind;"

2)  there seems to be a virtue in changing one's mind.  This last week, we heard from John about Thomas who believed because he saw.  He hadn't believed when his friends told him about seeing Jesus, but he changed his mind when he saw the resurrected Jesus with his own eyes and touched his wounds with his own hands.  "...and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him."  Saw what?  Of course, it all leads back to doing the will of "his father."  Is there a call here to be gentle with our own resistance to doing what God beseeches?  (I like 'beseeches', Paul beseeches because how do you 'command' people to do something they don't want to do?)  How about other people's resistance?  Can I be tolerant of other people's resistance?  I'm resistant to showing grace in the face of other people's resistance to doing what God beseeches, thus resisting what God beseeches of me!!!  So can I change my mind?  Can I now find mercy?  Can I now let living water flow from my heart? Or do I still have some resisting to do?

3)  What is the invitation in all this?  to do what "the father" beseeches.  To let go of resistance and trust more often.

"Holy One, help me change my mind and teach me gentleness until I do."

Breathprayer: "Going... into the kingdom of God."

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