Who Else But God?

“This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”  Luke 15:1-10 Many years ago I was asked what was the most important relationship in my life. While others responded that their relationship with a significant other or children as the most important, I responded that it was my relationship with God. I did wonder for a little while if my feelings were skewed or distorted in some way, but then I remembered that God’s love for me is perfect. The relationships I have with my spouse and children can not compete with that perfection. So it made sense to me to put what is perfect before what is imperfect. This perfect love that God has for me is what I strive for in my relationships. I wouldn’t know how to do that if God had not given Christ into the world (John 3:16; 10:7-10). Because we are imperfect as human beings, in every physical aspect of our lives – life, death and resurrection is an ongoing process until we reach spiritual perfection of eternal life. When we hurt, disappoint and frustrate one another is it not God’s love through Christ that calls us back into relationship (Mark 12:28-33)? This I believe is what the Pharisees and leaders like them today miss. While the physical law” (of Moses or any other law) disciplines, it does not love, it does not forgive. God’s law also disciplines, but it always loves, and always forgives. So my prayer for each of us today is that as we continue to grow in understanding of God’s perfect love for us, we grow and live into the manifestation of God’s perfect love for one another with the knowledge that we are imperfect yet always striving towards the goal that is perfect in Jesus Christ (Phil 3:2-15). “I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.” Luke 15:1-10

Mark 12:28-33  …you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” …“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

John 3:16  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.      

John 10:7-10  I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Becoming

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgement so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” John 9:39

Some years ago I was on my way to the City of New York to attend a funeral. As I approached an intersection where I needed to make a right turn, I came to a complete stop. After looking for opposing and cross traffic I preceded to make a right turn. Before I got 50 feet a policeman was behind me flashing his lights. A right turn on a red light in New York was illegal. Ignorance of the law was no defense and I accepted the consequence. Jesus uses blindness as a metaphor for ignorance of the Law. The Pharisees didn’t understand that the law to which Jesus refers is the one in which we are called to love God and love neighbor as self. Instead they chose to use the physical Law of Moses to separate themselves among God’s chosen when in reality they separated themselves from God’s love given through Christ. Every day we may be different things to different people. As we get closer to understanding who we are in Christ, we become blind to others who want to keep seeing us as we used to be and we become who God always intended us to be, beloved children of God.