August 18, 2019
Scripture Reading: Luke 12:49-56
He also said to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, “It is going to rain”; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, “There will be scorching heat”; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? –Luke 12:53-56
Filters, we spend a lifetime building filters that shape for good or bad the way we perceive the world about us. The air condition technician just visited my home this week to make sure my air conditioning unit was working properly and to change the filters which were clogged with the dirt and other waste that floats in the air all the time and must be cleared regularly for air to flow freely either cooling or heating my home. My house was built in 1923 and I do not know when the first central heat and air system was installed but it was long enough ago that the filters required are rather unique, although still available. Using the wrong filter, would be at the least unproductive and might cause a negative impact if it allowed the spread of disease-causing elements.
Similarly, when our spiritual filters get clogged with the debris of the world, we must through the practice of our spiritual disciplines, seek God’s cleansing power to remove the clutter of life that prevents us from seeing what is right before our spiritual eyes. Such cleansing allows the rush of the Spirit’s renewing breath of fresh life that empowers our work and nurtures our souls.
One wrong-sized filter of our own creation that seems to permeate humankind is the one that says to us our worth is established through comparison with others. This surely was one filter that was planted in our hearts and minds very early in human history and it has plagued us ever since. Every human being was made in the image of God and we are called to see that image in all our interactions and relationships with others. That is the basis of loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. We each came with built in worth and because we each have built in worth; we are freed to love one another because we are all children of God. Much of our inability to see the damage we do to one another stems from our searching for our worth outside God’s love for us as we define the worth of others outside the love of God. Greed is often the driver of our need to create hierarchies of worth as is lust for power.
Prayer: Lord, forgive us when we forget who we are by moving away from whose we are. 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.