This week in the Lectionary we are faced with the daily choice of how we choose to live. In Jeremiah, those who trust in human wisdom and strength are said to be cursed, but those who trust in God’s ways, are said to be like trees planted near a river, with green leaves and much fruit. In Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, there is a similar message, except the recipients of the blessings and curses are slightly different. It is the poor, the hungry, and those who weep who are blessed, and the wealthy, the prosperous, and those who laugh who are cursed.

Of course, we have to be very careful, when we speak about God blessing and cursing certain people. It doesn’t matter what criteria we use, it is unwise, in the light of who Jesus is, to think of blessings and curses as things God does to us depending on whether we are good or not. Instead, the Scriptures seek to lead us to view consequences more carefully and seriously. Our actions, our words, and even our thoughts, have consequences. Whatever we do creates chains of reactions and responses and sets in motion patterns that lead to outcomes – for better or worse. As someone once said, we can choose our actions, but we cannot choose the consequences. So, how we live does make a difference to how we experience life. What we reap, we do sow in one way or another.

This choice – to live in ways that either lead to positive or to negative outcomes – is at the heart of our reflections this week.

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click here.