QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “If you have a heart, you can be saved.” Abba Pambo, desert father.
This strikes a cord with me for so many different reasons.
I know there have been times when I’ve made Christianity – a relationship with Jesus – more like an application process for getting into a country club than a saving bond between God and humankind. I, like the Pharisees, in the words of Jesus, “shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” Harsh.
But Jesus doesn’t speak harshly to the Pharisees just because he’s having a bad day – it’s not because he’s cranky. The Pharisees actually had a lot of things right, believe it or not – we actually could stand to learn a lot from their dedication to God, their reverence and fear of the LORD. Their motives, however, easily got shifted from “get to” to “have to.” As in, “I have to worship like this,” or “I have to say this type of prayer,” or “everyone must do things like I do or they’re wrong.” This, as Jesus points out, misses the point.
If you have a heart, you can be saved. If your pulse is strong, your heart can be transformed by the living Christ. You are not out of his reach. God is willing that everyone should be saved – from everything, for that matter, not just eternal separation from God – that none should perish. Where are you “perishing?” If you have a heart, you can be saved.
Prayer for the week: God, save us from the places we are perishing. Breathe your life into us. Amen.
Did anyone else have an attic growing up? We did… and one of the great adventures was when my brother and I would go into the attic and forage for something to play with. Granted I was very young, but this was as close as we could get to being archaeologists. (thanks be to Indiana Jones for that one) It was mostly junk; things my family had stored away and forgotten about, and in most cases, should have thrown out. But to me, it was exploring! We found old photos in frames that we were sure were antique and worth a FORTUNE. We found old clothes that became instant dress up material, (yes even dresses!) Hats, games, furniture, sewing machines etc. We could make a story out of ANYTHING!
Then what happened… We grew up. Most houses don’t even have classic attics anymore. Adventure changed and became more planned. Spontaneity was a thing of the past or even worse, how we responded to things rather than what we looked for. And God became less adventurous too. We had to figure everything out rather than just trust that He was… God became normal rather than extraordinary. Then we spend the better part of our formative years trying to put a box and bow around the indescribable and uncontainable; not at all the way to approach our mighty God. God IS exciting and adventurous and too BIG for words, and yet we want to know him? What would happen if we found our bible in the attic, or better yet, treated the bible as the adventure that it is again? Just food for thought…