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October 23, 2015

The good news for today

Jesus said to the public: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say right away, “it’s going to rain”–and so it does; and when you notice that the wind starts blowing from the south, you say, “it’s going to get hot”–and so it does. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” (Luke 12)

Reading the “signs of the times” is a skill you develop—to recognize what is going to happen—probably. You plan ahead. You bring the umbrella along, schedule the sunnier day at the beach, or set cash aside that you need for retirement. You choose clothes for the day, and keep scheduled doctors’ visits.

In living the Life, you do the same kind of things. You confront truth. Hypocrites avoid facing truth and consequences. Hypocrites play games—deny, shun, say nothing, evade, practice passive aggression—and so on. You and I do that at times—talk rather than do paperwork, not answer a phone call, when you know someone in need is calling—or use a different sidewalk to avoid a beggar.

The Good News is the courage you find to see truth and its consequences, to accept responsibility, and to involve yourself—messily—in needs of others. The Good News is your constant effort—in your authentic life—to see someone’s need (like the looming western cloud) and act on it. The Good News is your patience and alertness—the sympathetic understanding—that leads you to respond with kindness, honesty and practical consequences. You avoid hypocrisy—that’s the real Good News—when you accept and confront—with humility and care—discomfort coming at you.

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