Wednesday, January 7, 2015

holy... different!

the readings today were from Genesis 13:5-15:21, Matthew 5:27-48, Psalm 6:1-10, and Proverbs 1:29-33

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?


rhennesy82 said...

Different indeed. Love your enemies, turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, give your cloak as prayer today is to go beyond the actions and experience the depth of love for others that Christ has for me. Without the love it's just noisy gongs and clanging symbols pointing to myself instead of Christ.

julie reedy said...

These readings led me to the situation we can clearly see in the world around us. "political correctness", we as a nation have found that to be more correct than our God beliefs. I'm not saying that we must treat others based on our beliefs but we must stand up for those who can't speak for themselves, ( unborn children). We need to love our enemies but not conform to their views and action. Turn the other cheek does not mean to become passive to the point that Gods people fail to draw a line in the sand. An example of this, I was shopping with a dear friend who in my opinion was taking too much time picking out Christmas cards. I attempted to help and her statement floored me. She was more concerned with not offending anyone than the meaning of the season. Don't really know what this has to do with the but I was led to say this and pray that everyday we are led to let those around us know that we are different following Jesus and yet we have love for everyone.

jefe said...

good thoughts

jefe said...

yes, we're called to be salt and light. it's of course important to always speak the truth in love. the world desperately needs that light.