Saturday, March 24, 2012

Note to the Lord: Love Letters Come in Many Forms

Mark 3

[3.22-27] The religion scholars from Jerusalem came down spreading rumors that he was working black magic, using devil tricks to impress them with spiritual power. Jesus confronted their slander with a story: “Does it make sense to send a devil to catch a devil, to use Satan to get rid of Satan? A constantly squabbling family disintegrates. If Satan were fighting Satan, there soon wouldn’t be any Satan left. Do you think it’s possible in broad daylight to enter the house of an awake, able-bodied and walk off with his possessions unless you tie him up first? Tie him up, though, and you can clean him out.

Lord Jesus--This was a basic error that the religious establishment was making. Deciding what is the work of God and what it the work of the evil one is pretty basic. Yet, we miss it all the time.They saw the miracles and they could not figure out where they came from.

The questions of the religious integencia were exactly the right ones.  How is this person, this rabbi from a backwater town like Nazareth able to do what he is doing?  Good question.   People can do amazing things from exactly the wrong source.  So, it wasn't the questions that were wrong...they were discerning questions...good questions.

The problem is they can to the exactly the wrong conclusions.  They understood that you were pointing out with clarity the discontinuity of their religious practice and from their core religious values.  That was something they could not face.

Simple values...core values scared them silly.  People are more important than things.  Relationship with God is more important than ritual. Access to God was not based on works but on grace.  Our relationship with God is not a legal contract between business partners, but a marriage contract between lovers. It is really very simple: the healing ministry and the preaching to the oppressed and the poor were not meant to get attention they were the reason that you came.

You were showing for all time the heart of God lived out right in the middle of messy humanity.  Unwashed, without excuse, littered with the results of sin right out there for everyone to see, and yet you love us.

They were tripped up by the miracles and thought they were the point. They saw the miracles as a way to illicit the support of the ignorant poor and to deceive them into thinking God was acting when he wasn't.   In reality they missed the meaning of the miraculous by about a million miles.  Instead of a love letter from God written on the bodies, minds and hearts of the people, these men saw the beginnings of an insurrection movement that would bring Roman power down on them.

It is amazing to me but the really important things in life are many times so simple we miss them.  More honesty, more truth, more hope, more love is always the direction toward you.  Walking toward the light and the shadows fall away from us.

Lord Jesus keep me walking in the direction toward light...toward humility, toward grace, toward hope, toward healing.

Peterson, Eugene H. (2006-06-15). The Message Remix 2.0: The Bible In contemporary Language (p. 1796). NavPress. Kindle Edition.

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