The Morning Offering
Monday, January 26 / January 13 (Church Calendar)
Saints of the Day:
Scripture Readings for the Day:
1 Peter 2:21-3:9 (New King James Version)
21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
22 " Who committed no sin,
Nor was deceit found in His mouth";
23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
1 Peter 3
Submission to Husbands
A Word to Husbands
7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
Called to Blessing
8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
Mark 12:13-17 (New King James Version)
The Pharisees: Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?
13 Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His14 When they had come, they said to Him, "Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?"
But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, "Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it." 16 So they brought it.
And He said to them, "Whose image and inscription is this?" They said to Him, "Caesar's."
17 And Jesus answered and said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
And they marveled at Him.
Thought for the Day:
The good news is found in the very nature of the Church, herself! The Church is NOT a religious institution. The Church is a living organism, and hospital of the soul, wherein one finds wholeness and healing. When we give ourselves over to the life changing, and life giving, grace that abounds within the Arch of the Church, we can find true happiness, and lasting peace. It is only when we treat the Church as though it were a religious institution, that we remain sick, neurotic, self-centered cripples.
The goal of the Church is to bring healing to the human heart. Her priests are those who sought out healing for themselves, and, in the process, became the Church's therapists. When we give ourselves over to the Holy Mysteries (or Sacraments), the Holy Scriptures, and the reading of the sayings of the Church Fathers, and the lives of the saints, we are availing ourselves to the transformational power of the Church. Each time we confess our sins, receive communion, and otherwise attend to our spiritual selves, we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts, and a transformation takes place. But if we use the Church simply as a cultural fix, we become Pharisees, and bring spiritual stagnation, or even spiritual death, upon ourselves.
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