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Posts Tagged ‘Children of God’


ancient wine flaskSunday, August 1, 2021

Jeremiah 13

The Loincloth and the Wineflask

This wicked people who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts, and follow strange gods to serve and adore them, shall be like this loincloth that is good for nothing. For as the loincloth clings to the main’s loins, so had I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the Lord; to be my people, my renown, my praise, my beauty. But they did not listen to me.

Today we are presented with this image that indicates the level of intimacy God expects to experience with us. The faithful are so close to God that they share in God’s goodness and are worthy of praise. The faithful are a beautiful part of God’s plan. They are the Children of God.

Every wineflask is meant to be filled with wine . . . Can the Ethiopian change his skin? The leopard his spots?

20080613-Loin-Cloth-ReddishGod says: Your destiny is to live life fully as my precious, lovely children. When I say that you are meant to cling to me I do not look to demean you; rather, I look to glorify you just as you glorify me. When you act in the ways that my son shows to you, you become one with me. When you turn away to follow your little, demeaning gods, you walk away from this beauty, goodness, renown and glory. Come! Follow me! I want to bring you home to this most safe, most intimate, most loving of places. Allow me to heal and counsel you. Permit me to guide and protect you. Soften your hearts, unbend your necks, and come home to the one who wants to lift you in body, mind and spirit.

The people who listen to Jeremiah’s prophecy turn away from these words; they draw away from God’s work of ministering to those on the margins and focus instead on the accumulation of wealth, comfort and goods.

What do we choose to do today?


To meditate on Jeremiah Chapters 11, 12, 13, enter the words The Infinity of True Happiness into the blog search bar and explore.

To explore more artifacts of the ancient world, click on the image of the wine flask above and follow links, or go to: http://theancientworld.tumblr.com/post/16764938939/wine-flask-bianhu-with-geometric-decoration-ca 

For another reflection on Jeremiah 13, click on the image of the loincloth above or go to: http://dwellingintheword.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/1078-jeremiah-13/ 

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rainbow and castleFriday, June 11, 2021

1 Chronicles 28:20

Hope and Steadfastness

When we consider the factors that move us to hope in some one or some thing, we may have difficulty mustering the steadfastness we will need to rest in God’s hope. Yet for millennia God has assured us that trust in God’s presence and encouragement in God are hallmarks of the faithful. Over the last few weeks we have contemplated John’s first letter to Jesus’ disciples. This week we continue to look for the many times we have been supported and guided as God’s precious children.

Be firm and steadfast; go to work without fear or discouragement, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. God will not fail you or abandon you before you have completed all the work for the service of the house of the Lord. (Verse 28:20)

The prophet Haggai records God’s words: Take courage, declares the Lord, and work; for I am with you. (Haggai 2:4)

As the people consider the immense work of rebuilding the Temple, the prophet Zechariah tells us: Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Let your hands be strong, you who are listening in these days to these words from the mouth of the prophets, those who spoke in the day that the foundation of the house of the Lord of hosts was laid, to the end that the temple might be built”. (Zechariah 8:9)

Isaiah encourages us in times of difficulty: Be strong, do not fear, your God will come . . . God will come to save you. (Isaiah 35:4)

Daniel hears God’s words: Be strong, now, be strong! (Daniel 10:19)

Finally, St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians: Be strong in the Lord and in God’s mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6)

And so we pray: Wherever we are, whatever we experience, no matter what day or time, God is with us to animate and reassure us. God is unwavering. God is forgiving. God is hope and light and truth. And these hopes, this light, these truths will not be extinguished by any power in any time. In this then, let us take refuge. In this then, let us in turn give encouragement to others. In this then, let us abide with those in need as God abides with us. In this then, let us teach our children and even our children’s children. Amen.

Tomorrow, David’s words to his son Solomon. A guide to address our own children.


Click on the scripture links above and read other versions of these verses; and let us consider how God speaks to us of hope and steadfastness. OR, enter the words hope and steadfastness into the blog search bar and reflect on how often, when and where and why God encourages us as we set to work building the kingdom.

Image from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rainbow_and_castle_near_Cashel.jpg

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wherever you are todayThursday, June 10, 2021

1 Chronicles 28:20

Fear and Discouragement

When we consider the factors that move us to risk something of ourselves to act as God asks of us, fear and discouragement might well be reasons that we do not act when called by God. And yet for millennia God has assured us that trust in God’s plan and hope in God’s presence are the hallmarks of the faithful. Over the last few weeks we have contemplated John’s first letter to the faithful. This week we look for the many times that we have been supported and guided as God’s precious children.

Be firm and steadfast; go to work without fear or discouragement, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. God will not fail you or abandon you before you have completed all the work for the service of the house of the Lord. (Verse 28:20)

David reminds the Israelites of God’s fidelity and power; but we can turn to the Torah and the first sacred verses recorded centuries ago.

In Genesis 26:1-3 we hear God speak to Isaac at the time of a famine: Do not go down to Egypt, but continue to camp wherever in this land I tell you. Stay in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. We might remember this and act bravely and hopefully when we believe that making a geographical change will somehow bring us serenity.

In Deuteronomy 31:6 the Hebrew people are about to enter the land they have been promised when Moses reminds his flock: Be brave and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the Lord, your God, who marches with you; God will never fail you or forsake you. We might remember this and act compassionately and justly when we believe that remaining with what is familiar is better than moving into what is new.

Tomorrow, the prophets combat fear and discouragement.


Click on the scripture links above and read other versions of these verses; and let us consider how God speaks to us about our fear and discouragement.

Image from: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/122441683593053113/

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Thursday, June 3, 2021

1 John 4:1-6madonna and child and lamb

Belonging – A Reprise

We have studied the opening verses of this chapter before to take a look at how and why and when we belong. We have reflected on true and false teachers and have spent time thinking of how and why and when we acknowledge Christ. Today we consider what it means to fully and wholly belong to Christ.

We have no way of predicting how our belonging to a particular group will change our lives or affect our emotions, but we know for certain that when we belong to Christ our lives are changed irreparably and eternally and always for the better.

We have no way of knowing how our acknowledgement of our membership in a specific organization will change our environment or heal our wounds. But we know for certain that when we acknowledge our union in Christ’s Mystical Body that we are never alone and we are never lost.

We have no way of understanding the effects of Christ’s friendship on our lives, but we understand deeply that without Christ we belong to nothing of any account.

Spend some time today with these verses and compare several versions by clicking on the scripture link above and pondering . . . how and why and when we admit to belonging to Christ.


Visit the Belonging post on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/2013/07/04/belonging/

Image from: http://www.vanishingtattoo.com/tds/tattoos_designs_symbols_religious_madonnachild_inspiration.htm

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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

1 John 3

presence ofholinessA Prayer for True Children

The Apostle John repeatedly and earnestly calls us to be true children of God. John, the Beloved Apostle who writes a soaring Gospel of hope and light, brings us the constant message that we can do nothing to earn God’s grace – it is a gift already given. John, one who walked and talked and ate with Jesus, reminds us that as true children of God we have the privilege, and the responsibility, to allow our holiness to take us over and to call forth in others that same holiness in God.

From the July 20, 2010 MAGNIFICAT Sunday Day by Day reflection by Fr. Maurice Zundel: Holiness is you who have become the Kingdom of God, it is you divinized by the gift of yourself. Precisely, if we see that this [divine life] is about a Presence, about a person-to-person exchange, if we see that each gesture allows us to be in communion with divine life, we will understand that the eternal is now . . . That is exactly what we must do. There is no question for us waiting until the afternoon. It is now, here . . . That is where God is waiting for you. There lies your eternity, your infinite communion, because each human act, if it is a gift of ourselves, is an act creating eternity. There is nothing else to expect. If you die tonight and your day has been full of God, you will be in eternity because you yourselves will have become eternity . . . God is not someone we speak about, he is someone we breathe, whom we communicate through the atmosphere emanating from ourselves. People around you will feel if you are in constant communion with God. There is not a religious action: it is the whole of life that is religious, the whole life or nothing, I repeat, the whole life or nothing”.  

And so in the presence of God’s holiness we pray for holiness as true children of God.

Holiness is you who have become the Kingdom of God, it is you divinized by the gift of yourself . . . and as children of God this is the kingdom we receive as inheritance.

The eternal is now . . . it is here . . . and as children of God we are presently and will always be integral building blocks in the infinite now.

Each human act, if it is a gift of ourselves, is an act creating eternity . . . and as children of God we are bound eternally to the Father.

God is someone we breathe . . . and as children of God we cannot help but inhale and exhale his love for all creation.

It is the whole of life or nothing . . . and as children of God we are content with living out God through the whole of life, through every moment of life . . . or we are content with nothing.

This relationship is a present reality and also part of the life to come . . . and as children of God we are both gifted and gift.

Holiness is you who have become the Kingdom of God, it is you divinized by the gift of yourself . . . and as true children of God this is the inheritance for which we give praise and thanksgiving to God.  This is the inheritance we pass along to others. Amen.


Adapted from a reflection first written on July 20, 2010.

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 20.7 (2010): 33. Print.  

Image from: http://www.lornemitchell.com/?p=1270

For a look inside the theology of Fr. Maurice Zundel, go to: http://books.google.com/books?id=YX5wW8upXgYC&pg=PA7&lpg=PA7&dq=fr+maurice+zundel&source=bl&ots=NfkHQyaeJ-&sig=hoEa1zPgRflfHY6pQOtB6GM1V0k&hl=en&sa=X&ei=leOBU7SuFYnMsQT8_YLAAg&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=fr%20maurice%20zundel&f=false

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God's love language stewardshipMonday, May 31, 2021

1 John 3

True Children

“The greatest sign of God’s love is the gift of his Son (Jn 3, 16) that has made Christians true children of God. This relationship is a present reality and also part of the life to come; true knowledge of God will ultimately be gained, and Christians prepare themselves now by virtuous lives in imitation of the Son . . . Love, even to the point of self-sacrifice, is the point of the commandment [verses 11-18]. The story of Cain and Abel . . . presents the rivalry of two brothers, in a contrast of evil and righteousness, where envy led to murder. For Christians, proof of deliverance is love toward others, after the example of Christ. This includes concrete acts of charity, out of our material gain . . . Living a life of faith in Jesus and of Christian love assures us of abiding in God no matter what our feelings may at times tell us. Our obedience gives us confidence in prayer and trust in God’s judgment. This obedience includes our belief in Christ and love for one another”. (Senior 390-391)

Daniele_Crespi_-_Cain_Killing_Abel_-_WGA5743

Daniele Crespi: Cain Killing Abel

Knowledge of God leading to virtuous lives. Concrete acts of charity from our material gain. A life of faith in Christ. Confidence in prayer and trust in God. We have spent several days with the third chapter of John’s first letter and we might pause today to consider . . . what have we learned? What might we have changed in our relationships?

When someone new joins our work or play community, do they see us as holy? If someone new arrives at our place of worship, do they see us as authentic and genuine? Do they see us as brothers and sisters who support one another rather than envy? Do our actions indicate that we know we have been released from bondage? Do our deeds say that we are grateful for all that we have and that we covet nothing, envy no one? Do others see us supporting one another out of our material gain and spiritual gifts? Do others hope to be one with us as children of the Living God and as building blocks of The Kingdom? Do they see us as true children of God?

Tomorrow, considering Cain and Abel.


Adapted from a reflection first written on July 20, 2010.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.390-391. Print.

Images from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Daniele_Crespi_-_Cain_Killing_Abel_-_WGA5743.jpg and https://everythingiswhatyoumakeit.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/all-you-need-is-heart/book-pages-heart/

 

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

1 John 3:1-3

1 johnSee What Love

See what love the father has bestowed on us that we might be called the children of God.

We need say nothing more about our relationship with God. We are God’s children.

The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know God.

We need write nothing but that God loves each of us dearly. We are God’s children.

Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed.

We need not expend energy worrying or tears crying about what the creator may or may not think of us. We are God’s children.

Everyone who has this hope based on God makes himself pure, as God is pure.

Today, click on the scripture link above and study the four pre-select versions of this citation while thinking of these statements. Choose another version and read these simple yet hope-filled verses again and reflect on the amazing truth John brings to us . . .

See what love the father has bestowed on us that we might be called the children of God.


Image from: http://imgracemadewoman.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/bible-quotes-1-john-3/1-john-1-3-niv-wallpaper/

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Monday, May 24, 2021

Sunset-Sunrise-Clouds-Landscapes-Sun-1800x28801 John 2

Ideal and Real – Part IV: The New Commandment

Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning.

We look for new inspiration. We believe that if we had one more resource all would be well. We look to off-load our worries when all we need do is put them in God’s hands.

The old commandment is the word that you have heard. And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

All will be well if we can just get a raise. Everything will be fine if we can just someone to do what we want. We believe we will have no more worries if we can just arrange life as we want it while all the while abundant gifts are given us daily.

Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall.

Our work environment would improve if cranky and controlling co-workers would go elsewhere. Family get-togethers would be so much better but for that person with whom we struggle.  Our worship community would be perfect if only the cranky believers would worship somewhere else . . . and all the while Christ walks among us. All the while the Spirit abides and calls us.  All the while we are children of the same creator who asks us to live in peaceful unity.

This is the new commandment the Apostle John relays to us. This is the new commandment Christ brings to us. This is the new commandment that unites the real and ideal.

Tomorrow, uniting day and night in prayer.


Image from: http://www.all-wallpapers.net/wallpaper/sunset-sunrise-clouds-landscapes-sun/

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Monday, May 17, 2021

Simon Vouet: The Apostle John

Simon Vouet: The Apostle John

1 John

Connection

“The purpose of this letter is to combat certain false ideas, especially about Jesus, and to deepen the spiritual and social awareness of the Christian community . . . The author affirms that authentic Christian love, ethics, and faith take place only within the historical revelation and sacrifice of Jesus Christ . . . The letter is of particular value for its declaration of the humanity and divinity of Christ as an apostolic teaching and for its development of the intrinsic connection between Christian moral conduct and Christine doctrine”. (Senior 387)

God comes to live among the created as one of their number. God wants to share our sorrows and our joys. Gods want to be numbered among us. God wants to number us as Children of God. The apostle John records not only his beautiful Gospel of love, he also leaves us his letters of assertion and encouragement.

What we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with God and with the Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing this so that your joy may be complete.

God says: I want you to make the connection that just as Jesus is both divine and human so are you. Just as my Spirit comforts and consoles so do you. Just as I myself save and guide. So do you. I send you this invitation to be one with and in me. If you turn me away today I return tomorrow. This is how much I love you. My apostle John makes connections in his letter to you, and he asks that you connect what you do with what you believe, what you say with how you act.  Make that connection now, put aside all else, and come to me.

“1 John lends itself more readily to every time and place . . . It is amazingly positive and loving in tone. For Christians through the ages it has transcended its hard circumstances of origin to be considered one of the great spiritual witnesses of the New Testament”. (Senior RG 563)

In the coming days we will explore John’s message of love that nourishes the faithful throughout time, and we will explore ways to make connections to what John has seen and heard and touched.


Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.387 and RG563. Print.   

For another Noontime reflection on this letter, go to the 1 John – Testimony page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/the-book-of-our-life/the-new-testament-revising-our-suffering/1-john-testimony/

Image from: https://www.pinterest.dk/pin/459226493229842593/?amp_client_id=CLIENT_ID(_)&mweb_unauth_id={{default.session}}&amp_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.dk%2Famp%2Fpin%2F459226493229842593%2F&from_amp_pin_page=true 

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