Tag Archives: Accountability

To Whom are We Accountable?

Advent
December 17, 2017

Scripture Reading: John 1:6-8, 19-28

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, ‘Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?’ John answered them, ‘I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.’ This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing. –John 1:24-28

False prophets were abundant in the first century as they are now. The officials of the Jewish faith apparently made a point of challenging prophets that arose and shutting them down if their message was not in line with the Pharisees’ doctrine. My guess is the Pharisees were probably more concerned with prophets who drew large followings than others. John apparently fit that description. I do not know who held the Pharisees accountable. I am sure they would say, God.

To whom are we accountable? I have a weird thing going on with my laptop that the technicians cannot explain. I can be typing along waxing eloquent when suddenly my cursor jumps to somewhere else on the page and sometimes the cursor erases a few lines I wrote. The recover arrow has stored nothing to recover. I must confess I wonder at times if God is trying to tell me something. Is what I am writing off base with what God wants me to say? There is the story in Numbers 22:21-39 of Balaam and the donkey where God sent an angel to stop progress, and only the donkey saw the angel. It would be easier if God autocorrected our work and we never had to worry about it.

God created us as partners in God’s service and expects us to use our hearts and our brains in adapting to God’s wisdom. We are held accountable for what we do by the test of love. Does what we say and do past the test of love?

Sojourners Verse & Voice shared a Thomas Merton quote recently that I do not recall ever reading before, but it speaks God’s wisdom which is a good starting place:

The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.

Prayer: God, lead me to a deeper understanding of your love and let that understanding seep into my soul so that love is my automatic first response. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.

Human Nature and God

Human nature and GodLiving in the Spirit
Light a Candle for Children
September 22, 2014

 Scripture Reading: Exodus 17:1-7

 From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarrelled with Moses, and said, ‘Give us water to drink.’ Moses said to them, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?’ But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?’ — Exodus 17:1-3

Human nature has not changed much over the years. We want somebody else to fix our problems. We do not want to take responsibility for the hardships we face. In all honesty sometimes those troubles get so deep that the only thing we can do is hit out against them. The truth is that we are all in life together and we are all interdependent on one another to make life better for ourselves and each other. We put one foot in front of the other and continue down the path of life in stages. Sometimes things go well; sometimes things go horribly wrong. Sometimes we are responsible for both; sometimes outsides forces are responsible for both. We are challenged to search out the things for which we are individually accountable and make the proper adjustments to correct them when they go off course. For those things that are caused by outside forces we are called to work with one another to overcome them. We never ever, however, are alone in our actions. The God who created us is always with us to sustain and comfort us and to guide us along the path. These Israelites who followed the cloud and the fire out of Egypt had forgotten that. Sometimes we forget, too.

This is never truer than when we are dealing with issues related to our children for they are still learning the ways of people and the ways of God. All adults are accountable for the future of children for children are our future.

 Oklahoma Fact: in 2013, Oklahoma ranked 39th in family and community wellbeing outcomes in the United States.*

Prayer: Creator of all, convict us of our responsibilities for children, guide us each step of the way as we strive to make a positive difference in their lives. Amen.

*2013 KIDS Count Profile: Oklahoma. Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, www.oica.org.

  

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.