Archive for December 20th, 2007

On Auto Pilot

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Acts 21:27-36 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Julie Benson):

Today’s passage seems eerily similar to Jesus’ circumstances to me. I read of the crowd getting stirred up in a frenzy, accusing Paul with false charges, beating him, then shouting to the tribune, “Away with him!” and all I can visualize are all of the “Jesus movies” I have watched that portray similar scenes.

How could these people in Bible times be so hasty to automatically cast judgment? Why would they torture the accused without a fair hearing?

Oh, I give thanks that we are not like that today!

Or, are we?

We hear about an acquaintance having a difficult time in his relationship and we begin to spread the gossip without consulting him for the truth or offering our confidential support.

We read the stories in the newspaper about individuals arrested for one crime or another and automatically place a guilty verdict upon them. Yes, another fair hearing given to the accused.

We see people out on the street holding signs for food, money, or help and we automatically roll our windows up tightly, shaking our heads with disgust that they don’t seek out real employment.

We look at transgender folk and feel embarrassed that they don’t “pass,” so we avoid eye contact and exclude them from conversations and gatherings.

And so here we are — almost to the year 2008 — being stirred up in frenzy, assuming others’ guilt without proper evidence, beating others up by our lack of compassion, and shouting, “You don’t belong!”

Thought for the day: It’s time to stop finger pointing at the harshness of others around us. It’s time for each one of us to look inside and turn off the auto pilot. It’s time to learn how to live in the fullness of compassion and grace.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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