Daily Reflection- 12/13/19
Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.” (Matthew 11:16-19)
Would we have recognized the Messiah if we had been there with him? Would we have recognized John as the “new” Elijah? All the signs point to who they were. Prophecy is being fulfilled. But the people of that generation did not recognize them
Contemporary politics has made us very familiar indeed with the game of reducing complex issues to ideals and platitudes, picking a side, and yelling at one another. We have a long history of division over ideals, doctrines, and the quest to preserve a pure tradition. And when we divide, many of us want to pat ourselves on the back for playing the game so well.
In this posturing, we forget that the game to which Jesus call us is about discerning, turning toward, and bearing witness to the work of God in the world. Jesus’ statement that “wisdom is justified by her deeds” directs us to pay closer attention to the results of our actions, even as we consider who Jesus is and what his ministry is about. Is he just a rebel, mostly interested in crossing social boundaries and breaking taboos? Is he a defender of tradition and right doctrine? Or do his actions demonstrate divine presence and power Does Jesus, even “at play,” reveal God at work?
The empire of heaven, after all, is not an ideal, but a reality made known through real acts and experiences of judgment, repentance, and redemption. The church that banishes the marginal, the vulnerable, and the humiliated does not prevent itself from being subject to the judgment of God; to the contrary, it is precisely through their eyes and voices that we can most clearly discern God’s judgment and mercy, through which our ongoing repentance is made possible. Judgment is a tool God uses to open our eyes and ears, to draw us toward repentance — not to induce brokenness but to uncover and heal what is broken.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, open my ears to hear the good news of your kingdom and set my heart free to love and serve you joyfully. May nothing keep me from following you wholeheartedly.
Truth in all its forms is often less regarded than the lie told to meet the wishes of those who hear. We often prefer to be deceived rather than to face a difficult reality that requires us to change. So, what must we do to recognize Jesus? Follow him, live our lives for him, change our lives to obey his commandments, share his grace to all, and give him glory—not a bad start but a very challenging message,