Saturday, December 5, 2009

Κύριος Notes:Jewels and Junk

All Hail King Jesus
All Hail Emmanuel
King of kings,
Lord of lords
Bright morning star
And throughout eternity I'm going to praise him
And forevermore, I shall reign with him

Scripture Reflection: Matthew 3:7-12
7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

Vipers is not an endearing term. The religious leaders of a nation that was theocratic at its core were coming to John. He wanted to make sure that they were coming for the right reason, or they did not need to stay. John was not in love with the crowd, he was on fire for the work of God. He wanted above all to see change in a nation that was more concerned with improving the status-quo than the movement of God. John saw the need for a shift in basic structure, a shift in the paradigm was needed. Radical change was needed. He was looking for the person who would bring about that change.

9And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. '

The paradigm shift that needed to take place was not based on hereditary relationships. It was instead based on heart change that produced changed behavior. Good fruit was the goal. Fruit that was just at the peek of perfection, ripe but not rotten. Production of that fruit of the heart is what the work of God really needs to be about. Fruit that grows and matures and is replaced by new the season go. Inplying ongoing growth and production.

Jesus people...people after the heart of God are people who are not interested in maintaining the status-quo but are concerned about the ragged edge of change and following after the direction of God with a reckless abandon. They want to see the fruit of God in their lives more than anything else.

11"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

So what was John aiming at here Lord Jesus? It is a kind of warning isn't it? John saw your coming as a coming that brought judgement with it. John's baptism was just about water and repentance. It was a place to start but it was not the end of the journey. He was saying, " If you think that this is radical just wait and see what the One who follows me will be doing." There will be changes the only fire, differentiation, and judgement can accomplish. The picture is of a threshing floor and harvest. Part of the wheat is usable and nurturing, but part is just chaff a part of the growth of the grain that to be used it has to be separated from.

Lord I have thought before that these were different groups of people that were being judged. That there was going to be a separation of sheep and goats, John was talking about here. That will happen, but that is not what John's point here.

Instead John here is pointing to something a bit more internal, dynamic and ultimately more change inducing. The wheat and chaff were a part of the same seems to me that the winnowing process is more about the ongoing change of letting go and allowing God to work within my heart. This process is ongoing and continues to bring refinement and change as I chase after you Lord Jesus.

Is that the picture of your work in my life Lord? Thresher on the move? Sometimes...Lord Jesus sometimes I lose track of what is the wheat and what is the chaff. Then all I can do is to depend on you to make the choice and bring about the change that is needed. The essence of trust is to allow you to sort through all of the essentials of my life and let you decide what stays and what goes. You are the Only One skilled enough to know the difference between the jewels and the junk that inhabits my life.

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