Wednesday, January 7, 2015
we see some interesting things in today's reading. but two of them stand out in my mind and seem to relate to one another.
in the OT reading, we meet a strange character. long before we are introduced to much of what we know as Jewish religion, and centuries before the New Testament and Jesus, we see someone called a Priest of God. whoever He is, He comes and blesses Abram. He gives him bread and wine, and gives him a blessing from God. this is very peculiar, and makes many who read about Him (Melchizedek) wonder just how related to Jesus He was. like the fourth person in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, this seems to be a "Son of God", and it's hard not to wonder exactly who He is.
whoever He is, He's different. He stands out from the rest of the rabble, the evil men of Sodom and surrounding area.
and Jesus, in our NT reading, tells us to be different as well. He clearly tells us to go above and beyond the call of duty, turning the other cheek and going the extra mile to help people. He asks rhetorically "How are you any different than anyone else if you don't do these extra things?" which clearly tells us - we ARE supposed to be different from other people!
and how should we be different? by being holy. and what does holiness look like?
well, according to Jesus, it looks a whole lot like love.
the most striking thing Jesus says, I think, in a passage full of striking things, is this: "you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For He gives his sunlight to both the evil and good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike."
in other words... love everyone. that's how God is. He loves us when we least deserve it. who are we to do otherwise?