Pharisee Host, Luke 14: 1-6,15-24
I ‘resemble’ that.
I don’t know about you but several of these devotions have started hitting a little too close to home. For the most part, the only folks that Jesus takes issue with (probably because they are the ones that take issue with him), are those that should have known better or done more. He doesn’t beat up on the folks that need help, doesn’t even tell them to ‘follow me’ (presumably because they are smart enough to do that on their own), but those that have made their religion the focal point of their lives are the ones that come under fire. Is that us?
Many of you have been hanging in here with me for the past 30 days as we have journeyed to the cross. We have been reading scripture, thinking and talking about this God we worship – no different from the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ day. During Jesus’ lifetime, the Sadducees had control over worship in the temple (that would be me), and the Pharisees had control over the day to day study and disciplines (that would be you). Why is it that these folks just don’t get it?
We forget (to our own peril) that while God is constant, God is always doing something new. “See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs forth (Tel Aviv in Hebrew); do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” Isaiah 43:19. But we don’t like a new thing as much as we like old and familiar. We like predictable and that ain’t God. Every time we understand one aspect of our relationship with the Divine, God wants to take us to a new level. There is no end to God’s learning curve. To be a disciple is to go for the PhD and nothing less.
The folks that Jesus fusses at are those that have closed their minds to God’s redeeming activity in the world. They are so sure of what they know that they refuse to consider anything new or different as being sanctioned by God. So, the questions for us is, where is God trying to get us to view things from a new and unfamiliar perspective – about God, our neighbors or ourselves? Where do we need to add charity or remove judgment? Just for today, let us truly consider how God might be doing that new thing in our world – outside of what makes us comfortable, and let’s get onboard. Let’s ‘resemble’ God and not ask God to ‘resemble’ us.