Friday, January 13, 2012

Who But God Alone

January 13, 2012

Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

By Melanie Rigney

The people, however, refused to listen to Samuel’s warning and said, “Not so! There must be a king over us. We too must be like other nations, with a king to rule us and to lead us in warfare and fight our battles.” (1 Samuel 8:19-20)

For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. (Psalms 89:2)

Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?" Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"—he said to the paralytic, "I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home." He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. (Mark 2:6-12)


Lord, open my mind and heart to obedience in following You.


The Israelites wanted to be like everyone else. They wanted a king to lead them into tangible battles, even when Samuel delivered God’s message that that kind of ruler also would make them and their children slaves. And so, they got Saul.

Many of us or our ancestors left places like Vietnam, Cambodia, Germany, England, and Russia not only for economic opportunity, but to get away from tyranny and oppression that so often comes with dictators and kings. We are different from the Israelites of Samuel’s day in that way. We don’t want kings or queens who sit on thrones. But we can set up false idols like wealth and fame as “kings” in our own lives. “Show me where you spend your time and money, and I’ll show you your god,” a minister friend of mine who lives in Iowa recently posted as his Facebook status.

Accepting God’s rule puts us in a different world, gives us a different worldview. We focus on pleasing him, confident in His love for us and His desire that we love Him with all our hearts, minds, and souls and that we love our neighbors. We don’t always succeed. But when we are in that place of acceptance, life is different, better, quieter. Who wins the primary or gets the promotion doesn’t matter that much. Because, with God the Almighty, we can all be the victors, over evil, over illness, over death, and even over ourselves. We can be free.


Where do you spend your time and money?

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