Pathways through Lent, Uncategorized

Thursday in the First Week of Lent

Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”

Matthew 7:7–12

One of the aspects of St. John’s I appreciate so much is the combination of authenticity and diverse opinions. Whether it is about the most recent current political issue or how to interpret a passage of Scripture, we come from different backgrounds and don’t always agree. And that is ok here at St. John’s. We have a rector who leads by example, that questioning is a part of faith.

That’s good, because frankly the last few months have been filled with questions for me. Like many others, I am hurt, angry, confused, and searching for justice. When I am really honest, I believe I have let others down. As a single white woman, have I reached out enough to others who are minorities to ensure they feel welcomed? Have I welcomed and reached out as I would want to be welcomed?

Today’s reading from Matthew restates the Golden Rule. I cannot help thinking that if everyone worked towards the Golden Rule, the divides within this country just wouldn’t exist. If we opened our homes to new neighbors we don’t think we have anything in common with, we just might be surprised. If we pause to ask someone (genuinely, not judgingly) what they meant by something, we may learn a new point of view.

I once told someone I was a Christian because of the Golden Rule. For me, how Jesus lived his life, and his teachings, particularly the Golden Rule, reflect his work (and all of the Trinity’s work) to bring the love and justice of God into this world. The Golden Rule can sound campy; it can sound trite. Try living it. Try living it when you didn’t get your morning coffee and someone just cut you off on the interstate and you had to slam out the brakes, with your kids yelling in the back seat. It’s really not so easy.

Ask, and it shall be given unto you. Seek, and ye shall find. Knock, and the door will be open unto you.

I don’t know what to do about the situation in America today, but I’m going to knock on the door. I’m going to ask for guidance, for perseverance in the face of frustration, for patience, for love, and for compassion. Do you want to knock with me?

Kathryn Pharr

Appointed readings for today: Esther (Apocrypha) 14:1-6, 12-14, Psalm 138, Matthew 7:7-12

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