Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

Galatians 6:1-18

My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. 2Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. 4All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor’s work, will become a cause for pride. 5For all must carry their own loads. 6Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher. 7Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. 8If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up. 10So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.

11See what large letters I make when I am writing in my own hand! 12It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that try to compel you to be circumcised—only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13Even the circumcised do not themselves obey the law, but they want you to be circumcised so that they may boast about your flesh. 14May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! 16As for those who will follow this rule—peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. 17From now on, let no one make trouble for me; for I carry the marks of Jesus branded on my body. 18May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

Today is Holy Cross Day--a day for "recognizing the cross." The devotional in Forward Day by Day really caught my attention today. It talked about how we all see "The Cross" differently. Some of us see the risen Christ as the Cross of Glory. Some of us see the Crucifix, and the pain of the passion. Some of us see an empty cross, as part of the Risen Christ. This might even go down to things like our choice of religious jewelry, or what kind of cross we prefer behind the altar. The way the author framed the devotional made me realize that we probably recognize our own crosses fairly well, but probably are not so well attuned to the crosses of others.

I am starting to just begin to understand that listening carefully for others to tell what their crosses are, is a very important part of that. Not necessarily to agree, or judge or even help. But I am starting to realize that true compassion is grounded in "holy listening." I am getting ready to go off on another monastery trip, to learn some more about this "holy listening."

Many of you know that Harry Truman is my hero. Sure, I love him because he was from Missouri, I love him because he was plain spoken in that rural Missouri kind of way, but most of why I love him is because his plain spoken life allowed a window for me to see his earnestness and his crosses.

I often think about a letter and a Purple Heart that was found in Truman's desk in the Truman Library after his death. It was from Mr. and Mrs. William Banning of Connecticut and read as follows:

Mr. Truman,

As you have been directly responsible for the loss of our son's life in Korea, you might just as well keep this emblem on display in your trophy room, as a memory of one of your historic deeds. One major regret at this time is that your daughter was not there to receive the same treatment as our son received in Korea.

William Banning

On this Holy Cross Day, may we all better understand the crosses of others.


Wow! What a powerful meditation on the meaning of the cross. Thanks, Kirke.

Blistering. It speaks to the measure of the man that he kept it.



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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