Day 21 of Lent

I'm pretty sure that while Christians argue about him, Jesus will continue to get to the lost and least.

The Pharisees - they were so worried about keeping the law.  And why not?  It was the greatest example of God's amazing love.

You read that right - the law is a gift.  Torah helps the Covenant people continue to be the people God called them to be.  Not eating pork, observing the Seder meal and Sabbath, and supporting the orphan, widow, and foreigner - these things don't just make you healthier, feel good about yourself, or help you live longer - they exist to make the Covenant people different.

But as the Pharisees argued about the law and how to best keep it, they missed God's son.  Sure.  They looked different.  That was so important to them that they put being "holy" above being Godly.  When the greatest example of God's amazing love showed up, they were "first in line" and still missed it (notice too that Jesus fulfills the law, not negates it).

Let me back that up: God's chosen people missed God's chosen son and yet he came and did exactly what he needed to do.  Of course, the Jews who missed this amazing truth didn't say, "Oh!  Hey!  I'm sorry, I got that whole righteous thing wrong!"Instead they became defensive.  They tried to stop him.  They decided it was better to kill him and be done with him than try to live up to his standards or love the people he loved.  Even God's people couldn't stand between Jesus and the lost sheep.  Even worse, while God's chosen people were the very vehicle for Jesus to arrive (he was, after all, Jewish), they were the foil by which his ministry showed God's unconditional love (read: they showed conditional love).

Now, as we, the body of Christ argue about Jesus, we risk taking our eyes off why Jesus came in the first place.  Why did he come?  Well my friend - that is the good news.  That Jesus came to save the lost and the least.

Does God "need" us?  I know that we are blessed to be blessings.  If we deny others those blessings - our blessing dies with us.  But if we share our blessing it lives on.  But if we deny someone those blessings... God will find another way to bless those who cry out to him.  That is as likely as the rocks crying out, but still likely.  God's first desire is that the Covenant people will be the main conduit for righteousness.  But how sad would it be if Christians become, not the conduit, but the foil?  Will we lament when we become the example of the conditional love God will supersede?  Or will be become defensive?  Try to stop him? 

I'm not saying there are not things that must be addressed.  I'm not saying God won't continue to use faithful Christians.  I'm saying when we let our "difference" as Covenant people (i.e. Christian) stand between us and our God, we can forget those who Jesus came to save.  Our differences are still not strong enough to stop Jesus.

Take heart.  You can't stop God's love yourself.  However, would you rather be part of God's love or simply side-stepped by it?

That is what I thought.  Let us love as Christ loved.  Take heart.  The arguments around us can't stop God's love.  Jesus loves you and can help you get over anything that holds you back.  May he help us all to look more like him!  We can do this together.