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Thursday, May 19, 2016

At the Breakfast Table

Which role best describes the image of God you had as you were growing up: Grandfather? Executioner? Benefactor? Politician? Coach? Lifeguard? Spy? Scrooge? Other? Today, what roles would you use to describe God to a non-Christian friend? (Serendipity Bible, 10th Anniversary Edition, page 725).

My training growing up was significantly Christ-centered.  We looked to Jesus as a guide and touchstone.  David Miller, a United Methodist preacher, not too long ago as my pastor pointed out in a sermon that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples not as a showboating act of humility, but as an overflowing act of love.  This reminded me that when my mother, a modest woman, performed multiple chores for our family; she too did so not to parade groveling acts of humility, but as an act of love to enrich our lives. This was the spirit with which she daily filled our home.

While preparing breakfast this morning in Cleveland, Ga; my sister-in-law Linda made the following reflection in response to an ongoing conversation: How does God feel after creating our planet and all the wonders and blessing that surround us, if we should reject them all saying we are “unworthy” to receive any of them? Perhaps she was thinking of how she would feel if we stubbornly refused to eat her scrumptious breakfast and instead went on and on about our being “unworthy” of it while everything got cold.  Of course nothing can sufficiently “earn” kindness.  Her work was a gift given out of love and generosity.  It completely misconstrues and eviscerates everything if I think I can meticulously “earn” her love before I can receive her blessings (gifts).  In fact, the very definition of a “gift” precludes my earning it.  The fact of the matter is that my sour refusals to enjoy her breakfast would not be born of humility, but of self-righteous pride and ego-centered selfishness.  All this is to say that God loves us and bestows upon us wondrous gifts and our role is graciously to accept and enjoy them.

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