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Posts Tagged ‘devotion’


Ruth 1:4: God’s Yardstick – Ruth

Discovering Chesed

Friday, January 8, 2016Ruth Naomi Boaz chesed

In these opening days of a new year, we look for ways to better see God’s yardstick in our lives, and for ways to leave the world’s yardstick behind.

We visit the story of Ruth and Naomi frequently in our Noontime visits and when we remember what takes place between these two women and Boaz, we understand why.  In the U.S. we are moving through a political season when we struggle with a number of yardsticks in an effort to evaluate candidates who ask for our time and money, our fidelity and our vote. This is a good season to remember how Ruth manages to see the world through God’s standard of love rather than the standards of fear, fortune and fame that the world asks us to use.

When we look again at how Ruth embodies the Hebrew concept of chesed, or fidelity rising from commitment, we find once again that through the quiet persistence of a woman considered an object to be owned, God brings us into intimate relationship with our way of measuring . . . and with God’s own extraordinary yardstick of love.

We return to posts Noontime on Chesed from July 2014 at: https://thenoontimes.com/2014/07/26/reversal-chesed-part-i/

When we spend time with these posts, we begin to better understand this fidelity that not only measures with love, but that overcomes all corruption, death, and violation.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ladder-in-the-darkness[1]2 Peter 2:5

Making Every Effort

Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.  

Peter shows a stairway we might climb as we grow in our understanding of how we might live according to The Law of Love Christ opens for us.  He begins with the concept of faith, a gift given by God that empowers us to believe that which we cannot see or hear or touch or smell but which we have every reason to believe.  When we are weary and our faith flags, we bolster belief with virtue, or good and moral behavior.  When we feel tempted to toss all morality to the winds we strengthen ourselves by studying the Word and gaining knowledge.  When this knowledge is not enough to encourage us we must control our urge to throw spiritual tantrums like those who are just beginning their journey.  We reinforce our dwindling self-control by enduring, by running the race to the end.  We boost endurance by remaining loyal to God no matter our circumstances.  This devotion may also need strengthening and if this is so . . . we turn to one for shared sustenance, for mutual affection.  And when this is not enough . . . we turn to God for Christ’s endless, limitless and eternal gift of love.

God says: Peter has shown you a ladder you might climb, yet I know that for many of you this work is too arduous.  So do not worry, my little ones.  If you are too weak I will carry you.  If you are too sad I will bring you joy.  If you are too alone I will send you a companion.  If you are too frightened I will calm your personal storm.  Make every effort as best you can.  Call on me.  My hands and feet, arms and legs will do the rest.  Peter offers you his own ladder.  Put your step on the first rung and bolster your faith.

Click on the links to find definitions of these steps in Peter’s ladder and reflect on how these rungs lead us up and out of darkness.

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Friday, April 12, 2013 – 1 Peter 1

lambs[1]The Gift and Call of God

We have witnessed the miracle of Easter. We have seen the risen Lord.  We have accompanied the disciples as they watch and await the call to kingdom building.  We have witnessed the return and redemption of the apostle Peter.  Today and tomorrow we reflect on the gift and call of God – love freely given, Word openly amidst us.  We turn to the opening of the first of Peter’s letters and examine his message.

In a homily this morning, Bishop Newman pointed out that Jesus’ apostles awaited his second coming as a physical one.  They most likely expected Jesus to return in the same way he had returned after his resurrection.  This second coming did not take place in their lifetimes; scholars will tell us that this second coming takes place in the life of each of us.  This thinking makes Peter’s words to us today all the more immediate:  We wait for and hasten the coming of the day of God . . .  He suggests to us today that we implement faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, endurance, devotion, and mutual love in order that we might persevere without becoming discouraged.  The Bishop reminded us that we might re-read these words when we are exhausted from waiting, when apostolic witnessing has taken its toll, when prophecy seems a dim memory.

Peter tells us that his words are altogether reliable.  We know the persistence he mustered in order to continue telling Christ’s story against so much disbelief and opposition.  He denied the Christ three times on the night of Jesus’ crucifixion; after the resurrection he thrice affirmed that Jesus was the Son of the Living God . . . and for this loyalty he was asked to feed God’s lambs, to feed God’s sheep.  So when we are asked – as Peter was asked – Do you truly love me? how will we respond to this gift?  And when we are asked – as Peter was asked – Feed my sheep, how will we answer this call?  Are we willing to endure?  Are we able to remain?  Can we put ourselves at risk?  Will we extend ourselves to others?

We have received a great gift, the gift of life.  We have received a great call, the call to eternal life.  Let us consider what we have before us.  Let us look to the example of Peter.  And let us be genuine and authentic in our reply.

First written on June 1, 2010. Edited and posted today as a Favorite.

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