Saturday in the Fourth Week of Lent, April 1, 2017
Joan Fox

 

Scripture for the Day

Today’s readings from scriptures focus on dealing with adversarial relationships with others.  Jeremiah Chapter 11 verse 19 says “But I was like a gentle lamb lead to the slaughter.’ Psalm 7 pleads, “ Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end.” While John 7 verses 37-52 states, “ Let anyone who is thirsty come to me. Out of the believers heart shall flow rivers of living waters”.

In these last days of Lent we are reminded of the growing threats to Christ’s life from the scheming and conniving actions of the Pharisees. Christ must have felt the dangers were real and ominous. He knew what was ahead. He faced his future with both obedience to the Father and steadfast courage.

 How many of us have had that same feeling when dealing with a difficult co-worker, family member or neighbor?  Acrimonious relations can sap our strength and lead us down the path to negativity.  But God reminds us that “out of believers hearts shall flow rivers of living waters” and that we can remain strong through faith in Him.

On a more global scale, in a world of political discord and economic paradigm changes, we all thirst for the truth. What is the truth and how shall we discern it? In the conflicts of daily life we thirst for the truth and cling to our trusted beliefs against our adversaries.  Labels are too succinct to describe and categorize us, as we are each individuals with unique thoughts, feelings and beliefs systems. Yet if we are to survive as a species we need to find common ground.

I am reminded of a story about Benjamin Franklin in his autobiography. He wrote, “Enemies who do you one favor will want to do more.” Franklin set out to change the attitude of a political opponent in the Pennsylvania state legislature. He asked the man if he might borrow a book from his extensive library. The adversary complied by lending him the book. From that day forward, the legislative representative spoke with civility and kindness to Franklin. Today, this is called the “Franklin effect” where we can build relationships through little things we do.

Perhaps, our adversaries are thirsty for the living waters of kindness, just as we are.

 

Last Published: March 15, 2017 12:48 PM