Do We Grumble?

 

In Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15, we read about the grumbling of the Israelites. They have escaped their lives as slaves in Egypt and are now wandering in the desert. They are hungry, so now those days in Egypt look pretty good – they had food there, after all.

We can assume they had once yearned to be free – but now their freedom isn’t as they expected. How often this can happen! We yearn for something – we pray it will happen. It does. But then we may find that while they are answered, our prayers aren’t answered exactly as we imagined.

Then what? Do we grumble, or are we able to have a positive attitude and find something good in our new situation?

We are Called

 

In Ephesians 4:1-6, we read how Paul wanted his people to live. He used the words humility, gentleness, patience, love and unity. He also used the word call.

We’re all called to something. We have received skills, talents, and other gifts to share with others in the world. And, overall, we are called to live a life in the Spirit, in peace and as one.

So may it be.

On the Sacraments

Having freely received the Sacraments from Jesus, the Christ, the Church is morally bound to give them freely to the world to anyone who asks ….  Any organization that shuts members or would be members out because they decline to enter a restricted theological cage is not universal, all inclusive, catholic….

Of course, the Church of Antioch does not question the right of any organization to forbid intellectual and religious liberty to its members, but we do claim that such limitation is in opposition to true catholicity.

Patriarch and Founder, Herman Adrian Spruit, 1911-1994         

In: The Meaning of Membership in Our Church (no date) – Church Archives

The 23rd Psalm

 

Many Christian adults look back to their childhood and remember memorizing the 23rd Psalm. “The Lord is my shepherd….” Surprisingly, many of us learned that psalm before the Greatest Commandment. How different the playground may have been had we learned that loving God and our neighbor as ourselves before any other words of wisdom!

But it was the 23rd Psalm. Yes, it too has good lessons. We learned that God takes care of us and helps us when we’re frightened. It may well help children to know they can turn to God when they have needs. It may help children to know that God takes care of our needs, and will protect and comfort us, even when people may not like us, and even threaten us. That’s good to know when one of the playground bullies doesn’t yet know s/he is to love us as s/he loves her/himself. Maybe that’s the reason we learn the psalm before much else.

Whatever the reason, something else is interesting for many Christian adults, and that is the wording., While many of us are comfortable with a variety of translations of the Bible, we prefer only one translation of the Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father, and the 23rd Psalm. Depending upon our jurisdiction or denomination, we may not have used the King James version of the Bible in decades – except for this prayer and this psalm.

For a treat this week, you may want to read newer versions and translations of the Lord’s Prayer. How do they sound? You may also want to look at the wording of the 23rd Psalm in different translations of the Bible, you may find that only one sounds ‘right,’ probably the one you memorized so long ago.

 

The Invitiation

 

In Mark 6:7-13, we read of Jesus sending out his followers. Like them, we too, are to go out to offer our stories and to share our faith. We are to offer an invitation to others. Some of us will use words. Others will use no words, and instead will wear a cross. Still others will do neither but will show God’s love through their way of living.

If our invitation is declined, we, like the disciples, will show love for ourselves and others by accepting that decision. We’ll shake the dust from our feet and move on. We don’t need to try to convince someone; we simply plant the seed and go. Doing so is actually way of showing them love. We’ve offered, we’ve listened to their decision, and we haven’t tried to browbeat them. We try and that’s enough – the rest is up to God.

Like Jesus: Independent and Free Enough to Love

A 4th of July Message: Gospel: Mark 6:1-13 

“And they took offense at him.”

By the time Jesus arrived in Nazareth, he had been engaged in a very active ministry. He had healed many; he had taught many. He had pulled together his core group, and he had debated with the religious leaders of his time. He had, as they say, made a name for himself. And then he stopped by at home. Oh-oh! Instead of being proud of the hometown kid made good, they became offended.

Rather than argue or try to convince them, Jesus accepted that he “..could do no deeds of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.”  And then he off he went to continue his ministry. He exhibited what it means to accept himself as God’s son – and he showed us how to accept ourselves as Children of God.

Because this is the 4th of July, let’s look at this using some words we hear about today – independence, freedom, liberty, happiness. 

When we consider Jesus, we see he was an independent thinker. He was free from the control of others. His independence was such that he wasn’t impressed by the authority of others. His many debates with the religious leaders of his day show us this. Jesus lived his ministry with freedom. He took his power – he took the right to teach, to preach, and to heal without asking permission. Once he started, he didn’t stop. Acting in liberty, Jesus acted out his freedom, his power – no matter what anyone thought.

What about happiness? Was Jesus a happy man? We don’t really know. But, he was so connected to people and so connected to his Abba, and he was so able to help people, and he so believed in the power of love, maybe he was happy. Many of us are happy when we can claim even one of these things.

Love was so important to Jesus and to us. It’s his commandment, after all. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and soul, and our neighbor as ourselves. We are to be independent and free enough to do this – and we are not only to feel that love, we are to ‘do’ that love.

Through his way of living, Jesus showed us that, as all followers of the way, we are to believe in ourselves and in our God; we are to believe in the things we are called to do; and we are to move forward, knowing whose power and whose authority is guiding us. We know how we are to act. We are to love.

We are to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to invite in strangers, to clothe the naked, to look after the sick and to visit those in prison. (Matthew 25:35-40)   This is always the case, not only today. But it IS July 4th, so it is important to note that the same sentiments – the same idea we read in Matthew are similar to the sentiments of our Lady. Our Lady? Mary? No, not Mary – the other one:

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We are to be independent enough, free enough to love as God loves!  So may it be.  Happy 4th of July! 

That Which We Will Become

“Jesus Christ knew when He made contact with the Father, He was connected with physical energy and became its transmitter.

With whatever we identify our minds, that we become …

We can identify ourselves with eternal life at the source and in so doing, become filled with life ourselves.”

Herman Adrian Spruit, Founder of CCOA, in the Angel of Music – The Techniques, pp. 3-4  ~ College of St. James ~

CCOA Continuing Education

 

 

CCOA has a new continuing education program!

 

November 13: Presentation based on a World Parliament workshop: Is it Universalism or is it White Privilege? , Presenter: +Michael Talbot

 

October 23: Discussion based on the Parliament of  the World’s Religions Conference

 

August 14: ‘The Cross of Antioch’, presented by Mary Altalo+

 

 June 12: ‘Dreams: Messages from God,’ presented by +Linda Rounds-Nichols.   

Faith

 

As we seem to be headed out of the confusion, the trials, the sorrows of the past months, let us stop to assess how we are doing, and how our faith has been helping us.

Decades ago, CCOA founder, Archbishop Herman Adrian Spruit wrote,

“It is the unexpected that is the test of life … it takes something like a genius to run it when times are tough. … Likewise, almost any kind of faith is promising in ordinary times, but when hearts are crushed, and no help appears in sight then one needs a faith that stands the test.”

Has your faith stood with you – has it stood the test?

 

Happy Easter!

 

We wish you and yours a Happy Easter.

May you be blessed, knowing that you are a blessing!


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