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Listening in on a stirring conversation with General Jesus

by davesandel on March 11th, 2021

Thursday, March 11, 2021                  (today’s lectionary)

Listening in on a stirring conversation with General Jesus

Jesus drove out a demon that was mute, and some said he did this by the power of the devil. Then Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself will fall, and house will fall against house. If Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?”

If it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.

When a strong man (Satan), who is fully armed, guards his place, and then one stronger attacks (Jesus) and overcomes him, that one takes away the old armor and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me … scatters.

Jesus pulls no punches. He looks straight into my eyes and says, “Put up or shut up, David. Don’t make me tell you again, because I won’t. This is the day that the Lord has made. Stand up. The Kingdom of God is here, here and now. Open your arms and receive it.

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.

I have been accustomed, Lord, to standing back a bit, singing with just a little less gusto than you seem to be insisting on. For some time now, I have not even dared to eat a peach. And by no means, Lord, have I thought you would ask me to step out, step up, be like you, act on my words and love others with everything you have given me. These are the days that try men’s souls. And you are telling me that to no longer be “tried,” I just walk in your steps and put everything out there?

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our God, our Maker.

Jeremiah tried to get away from you, and you hounded him. You kept after him and insisted on his allegiance, opening his mouth at all times and in all places to speak the words YOU GAVE HIM. Jeremiah was one of a kind, right? This is not what you want from me. Right? Right?

Right?

When you don’t speak, does that mean you agree with me?

Faithfulness has disappeared. The word itself is banished from our speech. We walk in the hardness of evil hearts and turn our backs, not our faces, to our God.

OK, I guess not. Your silence speaks volumes, but not of agreement. Can we start with a bit of happiness, a jot of joy?

Come into his presence with thanksgiving, and joyfully sing psalms to him, bow down in worship, and kneel before the Lord who made us.

In the psalms it is usually “US” coming into your presence, Father. There is strength in numbers, right? But I think we give ourselves the idea that we can kind of get away from your bugle, from your call to the line, to giving ourselves blood, tooth and nail to the battle you lead against evil. Today you’re telling us to just cut that out. Listen a little more closely. Rise up!

And it’s me you’re talking to.

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

(Jeremiah 7, Psalm 95, Joel 2, Luke 11)

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