If someone wants to learn more about God, he(Jesus) implies, it will involve more than believing someone else’s answers. It will involve thinking deeply about the questions you are asking and why. Then it will involve acting on the answers you come up with in order to discover what is true. Barbara Brown Taylor in “Holy Envy.”
We must continue to question and grow in our faith. To sit and think we have all the answers is a mistake. We never have all the answers. Only God does.
When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out.Frank Sinatra
It has always puzzled me that some people think it is fine to do wrong because they can be absolved of it. This is wrong thinking. The things we confess to God and ask for forgiveness should be slip ups. Choosing to commit sinful acts because we can be forgiven is not how God expects us to behave. His forgiveness does not give us permission to choose to sin.
Prayer: God of grace, remind us we must choose the right path. We cannot choose wrong because of his forgiveness. It is a gift of grace when we stumble not a get out of jail free card. Help us to remember this. AMEN
Richard Rohr wrote in a recent post about Midrash. This is a term I have used often when there is discussion about scripture. Midrash is a Jewish term and has to do with the way they look at scripture. Rohr says: “Jesus practiced a form that the Jewish people called midrash, consistently using questions to keep spiritual meanings open, often reflecting on a text or returning people’s questions with more questions.”
The point of Midrash is to keep digging and thinking about scripture. See what meaning lies underneath the simple. Question what it means to you today and then look at it again tomorrow or much later. We are different each day and may have different ideas and see different meanings.
Don’t be afraid to discuss scripture and hear the ideas of others. There is nothing wrong with seeing another viewpoint. Scripture is not dead words on a page. It is a living, breathing thing.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
A lot of preachers use this verse before beginning a sermon. I imagine that most of the time they have a plan about what they will say. That is not always true of the rest of us. Too often we don’t think about what we are saying. The words just rush out and we often wish we could take them back. Our hasty words can injure others. My father used to say “put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion.” Wise words indeed.
Patient God, help us to think before speaking so that our words can be acceptable in your sight. AMEN