Note: For those who read these meditations, you’ve noticed that I’m not writing daily anymore. My goal is to provide meditations on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I hope that you find these a source of help along your journey!
Would He Be Recognized Today?
If Jesus walked among us today, would he be recognized? And, if he was, I wonder who would recognize him? I suspect that those who would recognize him wouldn’t be the usual suspects.
Look at Mattew 21: 33-43, 45-46. In Jesus’ day, who were the ones who didn’t recognize him? Many times in the Gospels it was the established religious leaders who didn’t recognize him – the ones supposedly in charge of the vineyard. Curious hugh? Is the same true today?
Those who did recognize Jesus were most often those you would least suspect: the uneducated, the poor, the sick, those rejected by their religion, women, those known to be sinners, those on the fringe. These are the people who recognized him.
It can really be a pain sometimes to be on the fringe of religion or society. It’s difficult. If you find yourself on the fringe, take heart. You just might be in the best place to recognize the truth and depth of his message – even though the powers that be may tell you otherwise.
Jeremiah 20: 7-9
Matthew 16: 21-27
Sometimes the truth is a real pain in the ass!
Were you ever in a situation, perhaps in your church, job or in a political situation, or perhaps in your own family, where people were talking about something with which you passionately disagreed? Or perhaps it was a friend of yours or your own partner who was doing something that was hurting him/herself or others. You knew in your heart that you needed to say something, but were afraid of what the reaction would be. Your heart began to pound as you gathered the courage to speak up. And then you finally did. Chances are, there were some people that did not like what you said.
The reality is, sometimes people are not going to like us if we speak up. We see in the readings from Jeremiah and Matthew how Jeremiah and Jesus are hated for what they say. I’m sure both were tempted to just put up and shut up. Life would have probably been more peaceful, more tidey. Yet somehow, when we don’t speak up, something inside of us dies. A Word inside of us dies and a person or persons who might otherwise be lifted up to a new way of thinking and being, go on their way living half a life.
It’s important to remember that when prophets speak they don’t speak in anger. They don’t just throw around negative energy. They speak out of a place of love and concern.
Am I willing to let go my ego’s desire to be liked, in order that someone might hear a word of challenge that may help them? Do I have the courage to speak the truth in love?