If My People Who Are Called By My Name

Day 203

2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10; Romans 7:14-8:8; Psalm 18:1-15; Proverbs 19:24-25

If My People Who Are Called By My Name

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). If you are in a place of being stuck, waiting for answers or healing, this Scripture verse gives insight as to how you are to respond.

If we, who are called by God’s name (Christians today) will:

  1. Humble ourselves (be willing to forgive or to seek forgiveness)
  2. Pray
  3. Seek God’s face (do whatever it takes to go deeper with God)
  4. Turn from our wicked ways (repent of our sins)

Then, God will:

  1. Answer our prayers
  2. Forgive our sins
  3. Heal our land (our home, our city, our country)

This verse was recorded in the Old Testament but how much more do these words pertain to us today through the power and blood of Jesus Christ, Whom God the Father sent to bring healing, forgiveness, and redemption? As we read in Romans, “Wretched [wo]man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24-25a)! Amen!

The Rev. Robin Morical
Church of the Incarnation
Oviedo, FL

Hallowed Halls

Day 202

2 Chronicles 4:1‐6:11; Romans 7:1‐13; Psalm 17:1‐15; Proverbs 19:22‐23

Hallowed Halls

In 1985, my fiancée and I sat in Chicago Symphony Hall as the orchestra warmed up. Both of us liked classical music, but we had never heard a live performance. On a whim, we bought some tickets. Dressed in jeans and sweatshirts, we felt unprepared for the occasion. But we were on vacation, and once we sat down, we no longer cared.

What were truly unprepared were our ears. When all had quieted, the symphony began to play the Sibelius Symphony #1. The music swallowed me up. I felt the music in my bones. I sat there like an idiot until intermission, afraid to move, not wanting to interrupt the feeling.

The music was similar to all the classical music I had ever heard in my life. But the setting made it different. In that hall, the music became special.

The books of Chronicles were written after the Israelites returned from exile. The writer hoped to inspire Israel to imitate the rule of God in Israel under David and the worship of God under Solomon. It was important for Yahweh to rule and for Yahweh to have His place among the people.

Today, people say that God lives in their hearts. While this is indeed true, it is still necessary for us to honor God as King and to create a preeminent space for Him. The Music has been the same from the beginning. But He truly comes to life when we make our hearts His symphony hall.

David Somers, Deacon
St. Matthews Episcopal Church
Orlando, FL

Slave to Sin or Righteousness

Day 201

2 Chronicles 1:1‐3:17; Romans 6:1‐23; Psalm 16:1‐11; Proverbs 19:20‐21

Slave to Sin or Righteousness

Paul begins this chapter of Romans in what would seem to be in dialogue with an imaginary opponent in a debate over grace and sin. The opponent is saying that if God’s grace is great enough to forgive sin, then it would make sense that the more we sin, the more God’s grace is available to forgive us. Therefore, we should go on sinning. Paul, arguing with himself, is totally appalled at the idea and exclaims, “By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

He is referring to baptism. When we committed to the Lord through baptism, we died with Him and were resurrected with Him to new life, free from sin. We may feel safe from the weapons of sin while in church and deep in prayer but when we enter the world, we are faced with the choice.

We can “offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness…” or, we can “offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness” (Rom. 6:13). I am certain Paul is speaking, at least in part, of our tongues as parts of the body. We are called to spread the Word of the Gospel. Our words can bring others to Christ or drive them away. In my own simple way, I can also see the part of our body as a hand. When we are cut off in traffic there is a hand gesture that telegraphs our feelings. What if we were to open all the fingers in that gesture with an open palm raised to the glory of God? After all, “Where sin abounded, grace super-abounded” (Rom. 5:20).

The Rev. Ed Bartle
St. Edward’s Episcopal Church
Mount Dora, FL