(for July 6th, 4th Sunday after Pentecost)
by Audrey Hindes
READ: Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 “flute”
REFLECT: Children shouting “no fair! We did this and you did not do that!” Children have a very innate and particular sense of equality and justice. A couple of images came to mind when I first read this passage. The first was a cartoon-like image of a person playing a flute as a cobra rose up, entranced, out of a basket. The second was a vending machine – you put your money in, you get your snack out. Both are problematic ways of relating to God and others. The first says that if I say sweet things, you’re obliged to do whatever I want. The second much more mechanical, detached, impersonal. Pure business. Both are built on an “if… then…” premise. “If I do x, you must do y.” Like a puppet on a string, if I pull this string, that arm moves. Period. No other outcome is possible.
I’m horrified to think that sometimes my sense of fairness is no more sophisticated than this. Of course, there are inequities all around us, and we should stand up, make waves and take action. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the more subtle, niggling jealousy – the kind that erodes relationships.
As I continued to pray through this passage, and confessed those instances where I am struggling, I began to feel an invitation in Jesus’ words “come to me… and I will give you rest.” I may be composed on the outside, my heart is throwing a child-like tantrum on the inside. I find resting in Jesus beyond words to be a comfort like no other.
RESPOND: God, when I feel that green-eyed monster of jealousy rising up, help me to recognize it for what it is. Help me realize that my perspective is limited, and that I cannot see the way you see. Help me to be less concerned about making sure everyone gets the same amount, than about making sure that others get what they need – even sacrificing what is “mine.”
In what areas of your life have relationships become merely business transactions, keeping track only of the bottom line? Is there a situation in your life where your own green-eyed monster has taken over? What might happen if you “cried it out” in prayer to God? What might God say to comfort you? Feel free to respond or ask questions in the comments below.
LECTIONARY TEXTS FOR THE UPCOMING SUNDAY (and for you to try on your own):
Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
Lectio Divina Paci is a weekly devotional guide for peacemakers in the lectio divina form. Lectio Divina (Latin for divine reading) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scripture reading, prayer, meditation, and reflection that treats scripture as the Living Word. Lectio Divina Paci is an opportunity for peacemakers to become more in tune with the voice of the Prince of Peace.