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Be careful what you ask for

by davesandel on April 22nd, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Third Sunday of Easter

Luke 24:45-47

         Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.  And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations.”

Two excellent questions to ask about any scripture: “What is God doing?”  and “What should I do?” But I must ask the first question first.  “What should I do” is mostly answered as I understand some of what God is doing.

What is God doing?  Jesus invites his beloved to understand what he understands.  In the midst of this mystery, the disciples are more available to his teaching than before.  They are in awe at his reappearance, they are rejoicing in his presence, so they listen closer than they did before Jesus was crucified.  And His teaching has never been better. Jesus relishes the idea that as he leaves, the Holy Spirit hovers over the waters and the earth, just as it was at the beginning.  God is not going anywhere, God is not leaving, God is spreading out!

What should I do?  Although awe is temporary and most rejoicing is ephemeral, these experiences soften my heart and open my mind.  I must seek them out.  I am most ready to listen and grow when I know without doubt that I am not God.  That often requires chastening, chafing, friction, pain.  When Jesus appears in the midst of this, it is clearer than ever that God is God.  And I am not.  My ears and mind are open.

After this happened to Job, he said, in his down and dirty way, “I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42).  He had seen God in a way he had never known before.  It put him on his face, because he knew for himself the power of God’s creative justice and His unending love.

This is an experience I want more rather than less.

So, Lord, when I ask for you to make me safe and secure, I don’t tell you how.  Not any more.  On the cross Jesus said, “Father into thy hands I commend myself.  I commit myself.” Yes.   Like he said.

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