Mark 3:25 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
Unfortunately this seems to be the culture we live in. There is so much division that people can no longer hold a civil conversation. It is so frightening that the divisions are increasing. Years ago in the US there was another man who talked about standing together. We may not be able to do it again until we are invaded by aliens and we have to all join together to stay alive.
We so often want God to think the way we do. We are right and our view of justice should be done. We often think about an “eye for an eye” which actually tells us to not ask for more retribution than we are actually due. But God is not us and does not look at things the same ways we do.
As Isaiah says of God, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8). Yet I am afraid we often pull God down into “our thoughts.” We naively and erroneously think fear, anger, intimidation, threat, and punishment are going to lead people to love. Show me where that has worked. We cannot lead people to the highest level of motivation by teaching them the lowest. God always and forever models the highest—love—and our task is always to “imitate God” (Ephesians 5:1). From the meditation of Richard Rohr
God is love and love is always his answer.
Jesus came to us as an example. His life tells us how God wants us to live. He flouted all the culture of the day and showed us how to love unconditionally.
[ The Example of Jesus ] Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life.
There were no “functional” families in the Bible. After all what do we mean by “functional.” Do we mean that they don’t make mistakes? I doubt it.
The Bible uses flawed characters to let us know that no one is perfect. Yet somehow, God used them to do his will. Some of them went dragging their feet but they went. We are all flawed but God can use us. If you let him!
“If God seems far away from you who has moved?”
I found this in one of my old journals. Author? me, unknown?
God never moves. God remains with us no matter what. We are the ones who drift away and then feel lost. When we are in the depths and feel abandoned by God… God has not moved. Our perspective is the problem. We have to remind ourselves that God is where he/she has always been. We have moved.
If God made us in his image, we have certainly returned the compliment. Voltaire
We must beware of deciding what God thinks and what he will do. We want God to do what we want. God is not us. God’s ways are not ours. Don’t create God in your image.
None of us is perfect. We all make mistakes. God knows that we cannot be perfect. He doesn’t expect it. He forgives our mistakes. Mistakes are fine as long as we learn from them. Hopefully we won’t make the same mistakes more than once.
Psalm 19:7-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is pure,
the ordinances of the Lord are true
and righteous altogether.
This is a remarkable passage. It tells us what we will be like if we please God. If we follow God’s law our soul will be revived. We will be filled with joy when we please God. Following his commandments lights us up. Fearing God is being like glass…transparent with nothing to make us cloudy.
We can be beautiful inside and out. We only have to please God. It is possible….just look carefully at the life of Jesus Christ and try to follow Him each day.