SATURDAY, October 24

Psalm 30. “You, LORD, with your favor, made me as strong as the mountains.” Then you hid your face, and I was filled with fear.

When I get on an elevator alone, I repeatedly push the “Door Close” button. I doubt that it does much to get me going any sooner, but I like that illusion of control.

That desire for control also comes into play when we believe that God visits disaster upon us to punish us for our sins. That stance, though frightening, allows us to cling to the thought that we have some control. If we believe that God favors us because of our good actions, then when God’s face seems hidden from us, we can do something about it.

Such thinking pushes the grace of God and the work of Christ right out of the picture. If we believe God punishes our sins by sending earthly adversities, it’s a short step to believing we can save ourselves through our own actions. But the truth is that I am saved by the grace of God, not by my own actions. I can’t do anything to make that door open and close, no matter how many buttons I push, because it is always open–we are never closed off from God’s grace.

PRAY for the Diocese of Tokyo (Japan)

Ps 32 * 42, 43; Ezra 4:7, 11-24; Philemon 1-25; Matthew 12:33-42

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