READINGS for 2007-02-07

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person...? ? Mark 7:15

Food doesn?t really make us spiritually unclean; it?s the sinful tendencies that are stored in our hearts and goes out through our mouths that make us unclean. When one keeps a record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5), harbors resentments that, when left unconfessed, become full blown ill-will which will soon come out in ugly and sinful ways.
      There are times I just feel like lashing out at someone because I know I am right. The good thing is, in a split-second, God?s grace rushes in to remind me that my anger has power to control and lead me to sin. I have learned that no one has died by swallowing her pride. Woman that I am, I take recourse to crying and sharing the burden with a friend. Pain is meant to be shared and God uses tears and friends to wash away unpleasant emotions.
      One of our mentors counseled us, ?Feel it but don?t feed it.? I find relief by feeling the pain but not feeding the hurt. I have decided to just keep on collecting goodness into my heart such that I would grow in character out of the store of goodness within. (Luke 6:45). Joie C.

Do you keep a ?logbook? of wrongs. Dispose of it ASAP!

Make my heart a dwelling place, a temple just for You!



Genesis 2:4-9, 15-17

The second account of creation emphasizes a different reality. It is less ordered and emphasizes more the harmony of creation. This is an important foil for the statement earlier where God gives dominion of creation to humanity and tells us to care for it and watch over it. Dominion is the exercise of power over something but in this case it is also a duty of care for creation. This truth today is being discovered in a new commitment to care for the environment. This makes a lot of sense as if we abuse it for too long it will collapse and no longer be able to sustain life, as we know it.

 4 At the time when the LORD God made the earth and the heavens ? 5 while as yet there was no field shrub on earth and no grass of the field had sprouted, for the LORD God had sent no rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil, 6 but a stream was welling up out of the earth and was watering all the surface of the ground ? 7 the LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. 8 Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of  good and bad. 15 The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it. 16 The LORD God gave man this order: ?You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden 17 except the tree of knowledge of good and bad. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.?

P S A L M 

Psalm 104:1-2a, 27-28, 29-30

R: O bless the Lord, my soul!

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory, 2 robed in light as with a cloak. (R) 27 All creatures look to you to give them food in due time. 28 When you give it to them, they gather it; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. (R) 29 If you take away their breath, they perish and return to their dust. 30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth. (R)


Mark 7:14-23

Thoughts are often the first step towards sin. It is in our minds that sin germinates and then manifests itself in action. Paul reminds us at the beginning of Romans 12 that there is a battle waging for our minds. If the devil can win our minds to himself then he is a long way towards victory in our lives over goodness and truth. This is why it is important for us to be constantly feeding our minds with the things that are true and holy and not just the rubbish that is so often on offer in the world. Let us be committed to this task by reading wholesome literature and not exposing our minds and hearts to media forms that are not going to do us any good.

14 He summoned the crowd again and said to them, ?Hear me, all of you, and understand. 15 Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.? 16 17 When he got home away from the crowd his disciples questioned him about the parable. 18 He said to them, ?Are even you likewise without understanding? Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile, 19 since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?? (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 ?But what comes out of a person, that is what defiles. 21 From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. 23 All these evils come from within and they defile.?

my reflections
Dominion is the exercise of power over something but in this case it is also a duty of care for creation.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





It is quite clear we have two very different accounts of God?s creation of the world in the first two chapters of Genesis. What is the meaning of this? The most plausible explanation is that at the time when the Jews were compiling the Scriptures of the Old Testament there were two extant traditions of God?s creation of the world. It was important to preserve the
independent truths in each of the accounts and thus they were both retained in the final version.
      Such a process indicates to us the organic nature of the Scriptures and gives us insight into the role of human beings in their formation. This in turn gives us insight into how we understand the authority of the Scriptures. The Church teaches us that the Scriptures are inerrant insofar as they are teaching us truths relating to our salvation. However, they may or may not reflect historical or scientific truths accurately. Such an understanding is not a threat to our faith in God?s Word; it simply situates that faith in its proper place and allows us to draw the fullest possible understanding and help from the Scriptures for our daily lives.?
      The fundamental truth surrounding the creation of the world is that God created the world from nothing and provided it with an inherent order that allows it to function well. If we choose to move outside or against that fundamental order or nature of creation then we do so at the risk of serious consequences! Somewhere and somehow humanity has chosen to disobey God and thus sin has entered the world and brought with it the disorder that we confront daily in our lives. The Good News is that God does not abandon creation but sends His Son to redeem us. We already see the nascent beginnings of this process in Genesis 3.
      In reflecting upon the two Creation accounts, let us seek to develop a respect and love for the way in which we can see God?s hand at work in the world, moving us towards the re-creation of redemption and thus an even better place than when He first created the world. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: How do I understand the authority of the Scriptures in my life? Do I have a healthy understanding of the inerrancy of the Scriptures?

Lord Jesus, lead me into a deeper love and respect for the Word of God so that it will be better able to transform and inform the way I live my life.

St. Amulwirus, bishop and abbot, pray for us.

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