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Lamplighter - Fr. Ralph

posted Oct 29, 2015, 12:42 PM by St. Thomas Church   [ updated Nov 29, 2018, 11:25 AM ]

When I asked folks, “What keeps you up at night?”, one theme of the responses was concern that we are doing what God wants us to do.  That might seem like a question with one or two clear answers.  There are several answers.  Some answers are specific to who we are as individuals.  God doesn’t call us all to the same work.  God doesn’t even call us all to the same opinions.  Other answers are more general and apply to many if not all of us. The church has gathered these answers for two centuries.  Many of them are straight from Scripture.  Others are taken from the meaning of the Bible. 

The church is a wonderful resource for us.  Holy saints have worked out their salvation with fear and trembling and then shared their insights with us.  One of these holy people was Antony, who lived in the desert of Egypt many years ago.  When someone asked him what he should do, this was his answer.  “Have no confidence in your own righteousness; have no regrets about a past action; get your tongue and your belly under control.” 

These are such simple and straight forward words of instruction.  Easy to do, right?  What a short way to tell me to give up my pride, forgive myself for actions I regret, and then, and then,  I don’t want to talk about the last two!  I would imagine that God would be pleased if we continued to work to be more and more like Jesus.  I believe that God forgives us, and that we have a harder time doing that than God. As to the tongue and the belly…  This is really where the rubber meets the road for so many of us.   God wants us to be intentional about what comes out of us and what goes in. 

Every Sunday in the communion prayer, we ask God to make the bread and wine holy.  Then we ask God to do the same to us.  The answer is in the every day.  The answer is in how we treat each other.  Sometimes it’s as simple as our words and appetites.  Lord help us to guard what come in and out of our mouths.  Thank you, Abba Antony.

God’s peace and strength