Monday, January 5, 2015
today's readings aren't fun. they're not enjoyable, not uplifting, not the kind you memorize and put on your wall.
sure, we've got the beatitudes today. but they're really not cheerful when you take them apart... they are kind of about how God blesses people who have it tough. and then it goes on to say that God is tough on people who we might consider blessed.
the OT reading is about people building a tower and God coming along and confusing their languages so they can't keep building. there is a lot of speculation about what they were doing wrong, but if you read the text without inferring your own notions, it doesn't really say they're doing anything wrong. just building a great big tower. and God stops them because if He doesn't "they will be able to do anything." what's wrong with that?
well, we all know what's wrong with that, because we know people, and we know that when we get full of ourselves we, without fail, do something stupid. but that's not really encouraging, right?
the Psalm and Proverb are no cheerier... they talk about wisdom laughing at us when we don't follow it, and all about people who can't stand in God's presence because they're sinful. very depressing.
the picture I chose for today's reading is Jesus declaring a hard saying to the synagogue. it was really good news, but very difficult for them to hear... so difficult that they tried to stone him afterwards!
if they had listened or "had ears to hear" as Jesus liked to call it, they would have found the goodness behind the hard words. they would have found the blessing behind the atrocious claims. they would have found out that what Jesus said was true, and that that Truth would save them.
let us listen to His hard words, keep our hearts open and our ears "hearing", and allow Him to bless us even when it is difficult to hear.