REFLECTION DAY 31
“Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to you.” Psalm 26
The psalmist in his plea for justice sets a big task for us – easier said than done. A task that mankind has been trying to get right since Creation, with no end of help from God. And, yet despite God’s Word, God’s love, and the greatest gift of all, God’s Son, we still have not gotten it right. We are still not able to hold our heads high and say, “But as for me, I walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me. My foot stands on level ground; in the great congregation I will bless the Lord.” Psalm 26.
The God of Exodus heard his people’s groaning in pain. Working through His delegate Moses, God delivered His people from bondage into freedom. He pointed the way, when they saw no way; He provided meat, bread and water when they had none; He codified a way of being and worshipping for them, providing them with the tools to live a life that would be wonderful in His eyes. A life that He would bless and continue to sustain.
The intent of these great gifts soon took a dramatic turn “south.” God went from the Creator with an active voice and the freedom to speak to and guide His people, to a hidden silence enthroned in a glorious temple. The kings and the priests became the keepers and interpreters of God’s commandments – His Law. The people of Israel were once again enslaved – this time their priests and kings were the masters, not Pharaoh. A new groaning arose throughout the people of Israel.
God, always with us, once again heard His people’s groaning. He sent His Angels to shepherds in the fields with a new gift. A gift so amazing that hopes for an alternative way of life – a new freedom – were raised, and those who came and saw and wondered, “What child is this?” rushed off in excitement to tell others the good news.
Most amazing of all, this new gift from God, the gift of His Son, Jesus, was not for the kings, or the emperor, or the priests – not at all. This gift was for the poor, the sick, the lonely, the outcasts. Amazing! God sent someone just for us – to be among us and to be with us; an amazing gift for us the disenfranchised. The Good News was that we could be forgiven, we could be valued, we could be healed, we could all be equal in the eyes of God – we could be freed from the bondage of the Law as administered by those who ruled for their own benefit not for ours.
God sent us an amazing gift – Jesus – to show the way with compassion; unsurpassed compassion.
God intended the birth of this amazing gift to be the end of “the kingdom;” and, it was! The kingdom knew it was “the loser” and yet, it could not give up. Not so slowly, but very surely, the kingdom attempted to crucify the amazing gift. They tried their hardest, but they failed…Christ lives on.