Last Sunday and Monday I was struggling a little bit with what direction I was to go as far as what message God would have for us. When I have a hard time, one of the things I do is go to the Lectionary (a three-year voyage through Scripture).
I knew that we were in the Christian season of Epiphany. That period of the yearly Christian life focuses on God’s revelation to us. When I encountered today’s selections, I was humbled. I couldn’t choose just one…they all are needed. Today, we are going to read a section together. I want us to sit with it; let it be a mirror to you, individually; if any are moved by the Spirit, then I encourage you to share.
Christmas is an amazing time when we celebrate God moving into the neighborhood. Emmanuel! God is with us! But a reading of Scripture quickly lets us realize that when God moves in, He asks us to do housecleaning. And that is hard; we want to live our way.
I am struck by this in today’s Scripture: There is no mystery in being a Believer. God has made it no secret in how we are to live—in how we are to have relationship with Him—how we are to live amongst other Believers—and how we are to be with non-Believers.
If we think what is written here is about perfection in obeying laws, we’ve missed the point. Checking off to-do laws isn’t Gods desire. God wants our hearts to be changed; to be like His. He wants to mold our spirits back into His image. A spirit and community of Believers who celebrate the rule of God, the Lordship of God, in their lives. It is about joyfully striving to live life as we are commanded and wooed to do.
And that is hard. It is simple in a few areas and a death-struggle in others. But God is for us. His Spirit dwells within to empower us. See, He sets before us today life and prosperity, death and destruction. Amen.