You are low hanging fruit!

Thoughts on Luke 5:27-32

You call Levi from his tax collecting office with an invitation, “Follow me.” And good old Levi left everything and did just that. He gave himself a going away party, inviting all his old tax collector friends and the whole lot of unseemly co-operators with the Roman regime. The Pharisees heard about the shindig and began picking on your disciples, wagging their fingers, pointing out how inappropriate it was for them to be hanging out with such a sinful crowd. You took up the argument on behalf of your disciples, explaining your purpose was not to hang out with the well, the well didn’t need a doctor, you came to to be with the sick.

Interesting how the religious crew, the righteous ones, harass the disciples when their real argument was with you. They weren’t looking for a way to eliminate the threat of the disciples, it was you who undermined their authority, yet they look for the lowest hanging fruit to pick a fight with. Thank you for standing between the disciples and their accusers. You do so even yet. Your great enemy, stands accusing me of all kinds of inappropriate actions. Even though he has been defeated, he still exercises his lagging power to torment me. “You aren’t doing it right, you aren’t bringing God glory, you are screwing up.” And you know, these accusations are founded on truth. I do do things wrongly, with impure intentions, that is why I need a doctor. I don’t claim to be perfect, I claim to belong to you.

So, Jesus, let them accuse; I don’t deny the acts that I am charged with, they are my reality. The enemy’s voice is loud, demanding my shame and despair. Thankfully, you intervene. Your voice is clear, calling me to turn toward you and away from the false need to be righteous. Whose voice will I listen to? I admit my habit is to believe the accusers, convinced I am not good enough. But Jesus, this Lenten season I will let you defend me, I will hide behind your love and trust you. I will hide in your grace. Thank you and amen.

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The Geresene Demoniac and me

Mark 5:1-20

Here is a man, strong in body, weak in spirit; can break chains and fetters but is bound in his heart. His natural abilities could free him to walk about, but yet even when loosed from the chains, he remained living among the tombs.

A good reminder: my best effort, my self-motivated actions, all the will power I can muster will only get me so far. I need to let Jesus intervene. His presence is the beginning of the shift. When he spotted Jesus, the tortured man ran to worship him. Start here. Take your whole self, hopes and torments alike and run to Jesus. In the posture of worship, the demons will emerge and accuse. Let them out, speak aloud your doubts and your fears, name them. Jesus will deal with them. Just stay near him. Let Jesus clothe you and put your mind at rest.

What are you trying to accomplish that aligns with God’s will, but seems to be going no where? Maybe it’s because you are not relying on the power of God to bring it off. Submit  your abilities and gifts to Jesus and then the action can begin anew. The world (your world) will be astonished.

Amen.