He … called to him those whom he wanted… I was new at school and like so many other gym classes where the teacher decides who gets to be the captains to choose teams while the rest of us wait to be chosen, this wasn’t any different. Never mind the fact that I was actually pretty good at sports, nobody knew me and they weren’t willing to take the chance. So I sit and wait until close to the end. Apparently, I couldn’t be any worse than the few who were left and finally I am chosen for a team. Yet there were still others behind me waiting to be chosen and I never thought about how they must have felt. Of course on the other hand they may not have really cared. Either way, everyone would eventually be chosen. Sometimes in this life when we do care and when it really matters, it can feel like we are waiting forever to be chosen. We are blessed to serve a God that knows us and has already chosen us – one who waits for us to be ready, and choose to serve God with the gifts already given us.
Those who choose another god… Psalm 16 There was a segment on a morning show where the personalities attempted to give up addictive indulgences. It wasn’t until they made the choice to give them up did they realize how much the indulgence had become a significant part of their everyday living. However, the liberty of giving something up is entirely different than having something forcefully taken away. If we draw all of our energy from people or things, it won’t matter who we say God is. Eventually the people or things will take the lead, rather than the Spirit of God within us.
Those who are honored, but have no understanding, are like the beasts that perish. Psalm 49:20 When Jesus stood before the Jewish authorities (Matthew 26:57-68), he didn’t have much to say. His actions spoke loud and clear. The problem as I see it was the authorities did not understand the actions. They equated wealth with knowledge, understanding and favor from God. The Psalmist seems to make clear that honor without wisdom is futile. Nor does having honor render wisdom automatically. What is perhaps not as clear is that one refers to physical position and the other refers to spiritual position. With certainty, we know that the body dies but of more certainty, it is the spirit which lives, that we remember. Through Christ the gift of the Spirit doesn’t need wealth. So whom do we serve; the body or the spirit? Up to and including that day before the authorities, Jesus chose the Spirit.
Making Straight The Way
For you (Peter) are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things. Mark 8:27-9:1 I believe that we are spiritual beings living a human experience. It’s not always easy to separate the two, which in part, is why the physical journey is rarely straight. When it isn’t straight, we question our understanding and or our expectation of who Christ is for us. Peter’s understanding is shaped by traditional Judaism as foretold by the prophets: Jeremiah 23:5, Isaiah 11:2-5, Hosea 3:4-5, Micah 4:2-3; Zechariah 14:9, to name a few, and God’s word is not negated. Yet, from a physical standpoint a weak person will always lose to a stronger person and there will always be someone or something that is physically stronger. From a spiritual view, who is stronger than God? Who’s side would you rather be on? I choose God.