Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Karma Yoga – Works for All




Proverbs 22:9

Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor





James 2:1-9, 14-17

My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?

You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.


Mark 7:24-37            

Jesus set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go— the demon has left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.


Jesus learns. The mother above was not considered a person "worthy" of Jesus's healing. Yet she had much faith. Therefore, Jesus laid aside his prejudice and in the name of her faith offered healing. Her faith, not her heritage, healed her. Jesus continued with this revised version of his ministry to heal many that disagreed religiously yet held in common a faith in Jesus.

Jesus further challenges all of us to do good work for all. To not be simply believers, but also doers, to not pick and choose who is helped, and to be generous. Karma Yoga is the branch of action and selfless service. I believe Jesus was challenging us all to practice Karma Yoga or leading by example. He challenged us to believe in him and serve all no matter what those we serve believe.

I get sad when I look at the state of the world. We can do so much better. Christians need to stop isolating themselves by denomination.  We may not agree but we can still be of service to each other. Beyond that Jesus calls us to learn and expand our mission beyond just Christians to all that need help. This is our Karma and our Karma Yoga. To help all in need without placing labels.  To love one another even if we disagree. To lead with a compassionate, loving, and open heart.


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