Thursday, 20 March 2014

"BLESSED RATHER ARE THOSE WHO ..." Bible Reading Thoughts for March 20th

“BLESSED RATHER ARE THOSE WHO …”

     We have a particularly challenging chapter in Luke’s gospel today.  It is full of challenges by Jesus – contrasting normal human attitudes with what their attitude and aims and actions in life should be – IF they are truly following divine principles.  We read “ … a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!’  But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it.’” [11 v.27,28]  . Today we can say, “Blessed rather are those who read the word of God and make what they read part of their thinking and doing.
      In v. 24-26 there is a short parable about an “unclean spirit” – we can interpret that today as a dirty state of mind.  Jesus said, “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.  Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself and they enter and dwell there.  And the last state (of mind) of that person is worse than the first.”
     We see this as teaching the lesson that when you get rid of a bad attitude of mind, distorted ways of thinking and therefore of acting – it is vital to replace them with good ways of thinking and therefore of doing.  For us, daily feeding on God’s word and living by God’s principles are essential – for “blessed rather are those who” read the words God caused to be written and preservedand “keep” them.
     Then we can make the words of David’s Psalm 143 we read today our own, “Hear my prayer O LORD… In your faithfulness answer me … Enter not into judgment with your servant for no one living is righteous before you … I meditate on all you have done … my soul thirsts for you like a parched land (thirsts for water).  Answer me quickly. O LORD!  … Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust.  Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”   May we lift up our hearts and minds in this way.