Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Who wins an argument with God?

As we continue to discuss the daily lectionary, a friendly reminder that it can be found here:
Just a few quick thoughts today, as I am off to the hospital for some visits and have lots of other fun things to do . . . So, I found an interesting connection between a couple of the readings for today.
First, in Job (ch.7), we have him saying this: 17What are human beings, that you make so much of them, that you set your mind on them, 18visit them every morning, test them every moment?
Job asks a legitimate question, essentially 'who do we think we are in comparison to God?'  
I think a lot of our problems in life have, at least as a contributing factor, a confusion about where we are on the organizational chart of God's family.  We all too often think we are the ones making decisions and God is there to help when we need him.  I think we all would be well served by regularly asking ourselves the question Job poses - 'What are we that God cares for us?
I think it is with this perspective that we need to look at the passage from Acts 10.  Here Peter is given a vision of all sorts of animals coming down from heaven on a sheet.  An accompanying voice tells him that he is to kill and eat.  He balks at the idea because, according to Jewish law, the animals were unclean.  The voice (God) says, 'What God has made clean, you must not call profane'  
This is a critical turning point in Acts, as from this point on Peter sides with Paul in the assertion that believers in Jesus didn't have to submit to Jewish ritual and law to be faithful Christians.  
Of course, I am leaving out a piece of the story, the fact is Peter wasn't given the vision once - he received the vision 3 times.  It isn't said explicitly, but the implication is that the repetition was so that Peter would get it.  
And the question comes . . . 'who do we think we are to argue with God?'  
There are many implications to this question and to living life with a proper understanding of our relationship to God, but the overarching one is this:  
God has said that he loves and cares for all of humanity.  That there is even a special place in his heart for the 'least of these' (the widow, the orphan, the poor, the persecuted).  God has made it clear that his desire is to be reconciled to the entire world.  
In light of this, who are we to say any different.  In light of this who are we to attempt to withhold God's love  and grace from anyone?  Who do we think that we are?
See you tomorrow.


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