“But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. [NRSV]
I have been to more churches in the past two weeks than I have in two years. The stories of places people gathered to worship ranged 640 A.D. to those being constructed and remodel.
The stories behind different traditions and flavors of worshiping in the name of Jesus have been filled with extraordinary faith and tragic divisions. Stories of generations of people committed to building and defending as well as dividing and taking advantage of the church for personal gain or power.
At the same time visiting structures that span hundreds of years we heard stories of people who have given up on the church and our stories, buildings and lack of meaning. It is sad to hear someone who has heard what we believe to be foundations of our daily lives and experience quick sand or nothing at all.
What is the message of Jesus Christ for a world that calls faith empty? Or one that looks at the church as history and not present or future?
Everyday of my vacation a neighbor from Walker county called asking chronically for help with rent. Is our charge to share Jesus or facilitate a lifestyle of dependency? Is this the persistence of the poor widow or the would be disciple who will not leave the dead to bury their dead?
Does our message have to be pleasing to be loving
Does our witness have to be wise or logical to be truth and love
Does our foolishness need to be measured by the world to be validated or even measured?
What are we called and charged as those who fight to defend and promote Jesus?
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
There is a both/and relationship I following Christ.
A yoke of scripture through tradition, reason and experience that holds and binds us
While following and trusting this yoke has a freedom, ease and lightness.
How can relenting of self and trusting Christ make life easy and free?
This journey is where the words of our faith meets the reality of the life we live.
Isn’t this obvious? Then why the divisions. Denominations and debates?
Here is what I have learned through this text.
The world is not defining Jesus
God continues to call us to faith
The life devoted to Christ requires work, hard work
Let talk next week..see you next Sunday