September – 2016
The wisdom of Alexander Pope:
“The way of the Creative works through change and transformation, so that each thing receives its true nature and destiny and comes into permanent accord with the Great Harmony: this is what furthers and what perseveres.”
Jeremiah 18.1-6 (NRSV)
[This is the message] that came to Jeremiah from the HOLY ONE:
“Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.”
So I went down to the potter’s house, and there [the potter] was working at [the] wheel. The vessel [the potter] was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and [the potter] reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good…
Then the [divine] word…came to me: “Can I not do with you…just as this potter has done…Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand…”
The wisdom of Meister Eckhart
“You may call God love, you may call God goodness. But the best name for God is compassion.”
The wisdom of Stormie Omartian
“It’s not about finding ways to avoid God’s judgment and feeling like a failure if you don’t do everything perfectly. It’s about fully experiencing God’s love and letting it perfect you. It’s not about being somebody you are not. It’s about becoming who you really are.”
Luke 15.11-24 (New Life Version)
Jesus said, “There was a [family that] had two sons. The younger son said to his [parents], ‘Let me have the part of the family riches that will be coming to me.’ Then the [parents] divided all that [they] owned between [the] two sons. Soon after that the younger son took all that had been given to him and went to another country far away. There he spent all he had on wild and foolish living. When all his money was spent, he was hungry… He went to work…in this far away country. His work was to feed pigs. He was so hungry he was ready to eat the outside part of the ears of the corn the pigs ate because no one gave him anything.
He began to think about what he had done. He said to himself, ‘My [parents] pay many [workers]…They have all the food they want and more than enough. I am about dead because I am so hungry. I will get up and go to my [family home]. I will say to [them], “I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am not good enough to be called your son. But may I be as one of the [workers] you pay to work?’
The son got up and went to his [parents’ house]. While he was yet a long way off, his [parents] saw him. The [parents were] full of loving-pity for him. [They] ran and threw their arms around him and kissed him. The son [asked if he could come home, not as their son but as an employee]. But the [parents told their workers], ‘Hurry! Get the best coat and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet. Bring the calf that is fat and kill it. Let us eat and be glad. For [our] son was dead and now he is alive again. He was lost and now he is found. Let us eat and have a good time.’”
Psalm 113.7-9 (God’s Word Translation)
[God] lifts the poor from the dust.
[God] lifts the needy from a garbage heap.
[God] seats them with influential people…
[God] makes a woman who is in a childless home a joyful mother.
Jeremiah 8.18-22 (Complete Jewish Bible)
My grief has no cure, I am sick at heart. Listen to my people’s cry of distress out of a distant land:
“Is [OUR SOVEREIGN] no longer [with us]?…The harvest has passed, the summer is over, and still we are not [rescued].”
[The pain] of my people is…tearing me to pieces; everything looks dark to me, horror seizes me.
Has Gil‘ad exhausted its healing [medicine]? Is no physician there? If there is, then why [are] my people so slow to recover [their] health?
1 Timothy 6.17-19 (International Children’s Bible)
Give this command to those who are rich with things of this world. Tell them…to do good and to be rich in doing good deeds. Tell them to be happy to give and ready to share. By doing that, they will be saving a treasure for themselves in heaven. That treasure will be a strong foundation. Their future life can be built on that treasure. Then they will be able to have the life that is true life.
Luke 16.19-31 (JB Phillips, adapted)
There was once a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and lead a life of daily luxury. And there was a poor man called Lazarus who was put down at his gate. He was covered with sores. He used to long to be fed with the scraps from the rich man’s table. Yes, and the dogs used to come and lick his sores.
Well, it happened that the poor man died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham [and Sarah’s embrace].
The rich man also died and was buried. And from among the dead he looked up and saw Abraham [and Sarah] a long way away, and Lazarus in [their] arms.
[“Holy Ancestors!”] he cried out, “please pity me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.”
But Abraham replied, “Remember, my son, that you used to have the good things in your lifetime, while Lazarus suffered the bad. Now he is being comforted here, while you are in agony. And besides this, a great chasm has been set between you and us, so that those who want to go to you from this side cannot do so, and people cannot come to us from your side.”
At this [the rich man] said, “Then I beg you…to send him to my [family’s home] for I have five [siblings]. He could warn them about all this and prevent their coming to this place of torture.”
But [Sarah] said, “They have Moses and the Prophets: they can listen to them.”
“Ah no, [holy Ancestors],” [the rich man] said, “if only someone were to go to them from the dead, they would change completely.”
But [the Ancestors] told him, “If they will not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they would not be convinced even if somebody were to rise from the dead.”