Sunday, October 11, 2020

Peace Shanti

Exodus 32: 1-14

When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” Aaron said to them, “Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from them, formed it in a mold, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a festival to the Lord.” They rose early the next day, and offered burnt offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel. The Lord said to Moses, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.” But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

Philippians 4: 1-9

My brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Matthew 22: 1-14

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”



Om - The union of mind, body, and spirit

Shanti – Peace

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti – Mantra for peace in mind, body, and spirit.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians (see above)

Do you see it up there?  The Thai have a saying for this, “same same different.” And I find its footprints all over the place, two different belief systems or reading saying the same thing.  Who is Right? Does it Matter?  The Ultimate outcome is Peace.

I love the way in which my church, the Episcopal Church, picks the daily Lectionary. Some how each of the reading tie a theme together nicely. This week it is Peace. This week in the reading from Exodus we find the people of Israel going astray.  God is mad, but through Moses’ pleading God changes God’s mind. Who is right here? Israel? Moses? God? Does it matter to the story?  The ultimate outcome is peace.

Similarly, in the reading from Philippians they are experiencing something of a metaphorical cat fight between two women and they ask Paul for advice. Paul, similarly, asks who is right here? Does it matter? The ultimate outcome is peace.

When it comes to the gospel reading from Matthew.  We find a king, a wedding and no one attending.  Yes, there are metaphors to Jesus’ crucifixion, but if we look more simply at the players in the story again, we come away with the same questions: who is right? (King, Slaves or Man with no wedding robe) Does it matter? The ultimate outcome is peace, or at least that is implied by the first two readings and their relationship having all been selected for reading together this week.

On a personal level the Gospel reading speaks to my own call.  Having gone through a process of discernment and ultimately not selected for the clergy I could say that I felt like I was in the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.  I was sad and rejected for a while.  But I found myself asking the same questions: Who is right here? Does it matter? The ultimate outcome is peace. In the long run I realized that this call, this wedding robe, was not mine. My call, my contribution, was to something different.  Perhaps this blog is a part of that, perhaps my life as a yogini, yoga therapist, and professor IS my greater call, the right robe for me. Perhaps in this call I find more peace than I would as clergy.

There are numerous examples in this year, 2020 where I think it would be fair to ask: Who is right here? Does it matter? The ultimate outcome is peace.

 Om Shanti Shanti Shanti. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Amen Namaste



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