Keepers Of The Tabernacle
When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from Heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village .( Luke 9:51-56)
As always, there is a powerful lesson to be learned from today’s scripture.
But first the context. The Jews and Samaritans had been divided for centuries. Jewish pilgrims who passed through Samaritan towns were treated badly and sometimes assaulted.
That did not deter Jesus. He intended to not only travel through Samaria but he asked his disciples to go to the village and arrange hospitality. He knew he faced rejection but his father’s will was more important. His mission on earth was to reconcile us with God and with one another.
When the disciples returned, they wanted retribution. Jesus rebuked them for their lack of tolerance. Jesus had “set his face toward Jerusalem” to die on a cross so that Jew, Samaritan and Gentile would be reconciled with God and be united as one people in Christ. He sought the highest good for both those who followed him as well as his enemies.
He lived and demonstrated tolerance and understanding. Those are key virtues in his kingdom.
Tolerance and understanding.
I can’t help but believe that Jesus shakes his head as he views the world in 2022. Tolerance and understanding are two graces that the world seems to have been lost. Yet, Christian love seeks the highest good of both one’s neighbor and one’s enemies. Abraham Lincoln, in the midst of the Civil Way was criticized for his courtesy and tolerance. He responded: “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them friends?”
Is that happening today? Do we seek out those with whom we have a grievance or think differently than we do and attempt to find a reconciliation or a common ground of understanding?
If we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, we should! If we call ourselves Christian, we should!
If you listen to the rustlings of the world, the world does not either. If we listen to our politicians, many do not as well.
No amount of attempted self- rationalization can take away the fact that as followers of Christ, our words and actions should always demonstrate his love of all humankind.
Why do we overlook the foundational belief of Christianity that our Father brought us into the world . . . that he loves each of us. . . that he cares for each of us . . . that he walks in our shadow every day . . . that he expects us to be a reflection of him?
There comes a point in each of our lives that we need to examine ourselves very closely and decide whether we are, in fact, reflecting him. If we are then our label of Christian fits. But if our lives are full of anger, criticism, resentment, diminishment of others and refusal to accept another, then we know that our lives are contrary to all that he taught.
Turn inward today and when you have finished your examination of your actions and words, turn outward and be the beacon of his light to the world. As he intended you to.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, you are gracious, merciful and kind. Set me free from my prejudice and intolerance toward those I find disagreeable to my thoughts. Widen my heart to love and to do good even to those who wish me harm.”
A Christian walks a different path than the rest of the world. But it is in our difference as followers of Christ that make us so needed in this world. Amidst the turmoil, the loud voices, the anger, the finger pointing, a Christian stands apart by our tolerance, our respect for one another, our kindness, our willingness to forgive, our commitment to building his kingdom on earth.,