Daily Reflection
August 7th, 1999
Dan O'Reilly
Deuteronomy 6:4-13
Matthew 17:14-20

I used to be a New Testament kind of guy.  The Old Testament was a little scary.  Lots of fire and brimstone, people being wiped out, people dying horrible deaths, etc.  I liked the you're OK, I'm OK, it's all OK, that I thought to be the New Testament. Wow!  I guess you could say I used to be a selective reader.  Today's Scriptures point out how far off base I was in my views.

In Deuteronomy, Moses reminds us that everything is a gift from God.  That our goal in life should be to love and serve God.  We  should keep God's commandments on our hearts and we should teach them to our children every opportunity we get.  What wonderful truths and lessons.  And this Scripture was incredibly reaffirming to me.  Do you have one of those rote prayers that you say daily?  It's so automatic that sometimes you don't even remember if you've said it or not?  Blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda, Amen.  I have several and sometimes I'm quite critical of myself for them.  Here's the one I say at night with my kids.  "Dear heavenly Father, thank you for this day, help me to love and serve you, in Jesus' name I pray, Amen".  Why, I was following Deuteronomy and I didn't even know it.  It seems sometimes that family and work can be all consuming and there isn't time for God.  Maybe that's when God will use a little, rote prayer to get his foot in the door and ask you for some quality time.  Always time well spent.

The Psalmist echoes the lesson of Deuteronomy.  "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer".  Everything comes from God and He is where we can take our refuge.

Then comes Matthew.  What happened to I'm OK, you're OK?  A father brings a boy to Christ saying that Christ's disciples could not heal the child.  Jesus explodes, showing anger, frustration and exasperation.  Jesus heals the boy.  Later the disciples approach Christ, I would guess with some timidity, and ask why they couldn't heal the boy.  "Because you have so little faith."  Hmmmm.  That's pretty blunt.  However, Christ's love and compassion soon surface as he uses the mustard seed to teach his disciples the power of faith.  He reassures them that, with faith, "nothing will be impossible for you".  And so it is for us.  Again, what a wonderful lesson.

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