Preacher: “Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.”
Seeker: When Jesus healed the mother-in-law of Simon, it case Jesus into the limelight. And in order to prepare for it, Jesus went to a deserted place and prayed. It seems that when the Divine is in heaven, dealing with the adoration, acclaim, and attention is easy to do, and welcome. But Jesus needed to sometimes take some rest and refresh himself.
Preacher: What does that tell you Seeker?
Seeker: The Lord Jesus was human and subject to human weakness. We talk about that and know that, but we are not always attentive to those “human” moments when we read scripture.
Preacher: “The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. “
Seeker: No wonder some of the Jews and some of the Jewish leaders could not wrap their minds around the concept that a man who got dirty and tired was also the Son of the Most High. They put the Divine up on such a high pedestal that they were sure Yahweh would never come down. “Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. The LORD lifts up the downtrodden; he casts the wicked to the ground.”
Preacher: And the disciples grew up with these psalm passages ringing in their ears; praise and worship of Yahweh was what they knew and expected. The Jews knew the Lord they worshiped could heal. It was a surprise to them that the Healing Lord was among them.
Seeker: “Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre. He covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the animals their food, and to the young ravens when they cry.” They knew and beloved that God would take care of them. He was HERE though, taking care of them!
Preacher: Jesus had a long uphill battle to convince his disciples and the people who came to believe that the Lord God was both above them looking out for them, and among them caring for them.
Seeker: Preacher, it is sad to say, but I do not think Jesus would have the same welcome here that he had then. We have comes so far in our spiritual and faith understandings, it is true. But the Jesus that was born to Mary and Joseph would not be understood in this current era. We need Jesus – there is no doubt of that! But which aspect of the myriad of aspects and traits of Jesus would work best?!
Preacher: Fortunately, we do not need to know that. Or maybe, just as true, all the aspects would be needed in order to reach our global community. But the good thing is, with Jesus working through us by the inspiration of the Holy Presence, the Divine can reach everyone in the way they are best reached. A foundation was laid down for converts in becoming Christians to carry the gospel to all places. We can see how sometimes established biblical canon is not what is needed to touch the hearts of non-believers. Seeker, can you imagine how overjoyed the Divine is that this spiritual foundation has grown, multiplied, and spread throughout the global community!
Seeker: “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner; but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” Sometimes, Preacher, I feel like humanity has drifted so far from authentic faith and belief – a gentle compassionate merciful belief – but then we talk, and my hope is restored!
Preacher: “Praise the LORD!” (Psalm 147:1-11, 20c)