Hebrews 2:10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
We live in an age where “family” has taken on what seems like new meanings. Blended, mixed and single parent families often seem confusing. The lament seems to be what has happened to the traditional family? That question made me consider families in the Old Testament when a man had many children by many wives. Wasn’t that traditional…then?
That second question made me think about how easy is it is to be “not Godless, but not Godly either.” That phrase is where I find real value in the stories of those Old Testament characters who’s traditional lives seemed to be such a mess, and in my own life as well. Somehow all our confusing and questionable ideas of “traditional” still are combining to become A Family for God with room available for more imperfect characters.
It isn’t the traditional that God is looking for at all; it’s the Godly. I’m rethinking my use of the word traditional in light of God’s concept of the perfect family: Himself, Jesus and [your name here]. “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.”
I began this Lenten journal on Ash Wednesday with what seemed like the bitter end: Judas betrayal of Jesus. The reality of his story is a reminder of the beginning he missed. Repentance is a “who” to repent to instead of a “what” to repent of. Isn’t that just what Easter is all about? Out of the Ashes of what we “were,” we are being Blessed…
• Blessed By knowing it’s not our spirit that sustains us. Self has Fallen Through the Cracks of life and in the process caught a glimpse of a promised new kingdom of heaven.
• Blessed By realizing that in the Unfamiliar Reality of the emotions of mourning God is replacing the need to cope in unbearable circumstances with the release of comfort.
• Blessed By an undeserved and unearned inheritance and an eternity to explore and understand what submissive, yielding and obedient is. Meek is the mystery of God moving us into position to fulfill his plans as we learn the difference between Be-ing vs Choosing.
• Blessed By Jesus using something as basic and daily as our body’s craveing for nourishment to remind us there’s Another Kind of Life to crave: long for, yearn, desire, want, wish or need – a life of righteousness.
• Blessed By the mercy of Jesus and The Perfected Golden Rule: “Do unto others…as I have done unto you.”
• Blessed By the power God and the life of Jesus to create pure hearts by chiseling away stony pieces to bring us One Pebble Closer to being able to see God.
• Blessed By peacemakers who go Beyond Just Fixing to create opportunity for those in conflict to explore the reality of truth as God means it to be: a path to unity not separation.
• Blessed By a new perspective on Jesus words and the fullness of one Greek word. What once seemed focused on “persecuted” now includes “blessed because they “pursue” righteousness.” In Each Case theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
It’s not over yet!
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Mer·cy – noun
• compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
• synonyms: leniency, clemency, compassion, grace, pity, charity, forgiveness, forbearance, quarter, humanity.
This be-attitude made me think first of the Golden rule. Then it dawned on me the Golden rule is more about personally controlling behavior. Do unto others…as you would have them do unto you. Certainly a good thing to practice.
The order of this blessing for these people of mercy is about behavior controlled by The Perfected Golden Rule. It has become “Do unto others…what has been done unto you.”
“No matter what changes God has performed in you, never rely on them. Build only on a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the Spirit He gives. All our promises and resolutions end in denial because we have no power to accomplish them.” Oswald Chambers
The word “denial” made me think of Peter [the rock] and then King David [a man after God’s own heart]. Somehow there’s comfort for me in recognizing God saw past their humanity to those descriptions. They are my Biblical examples of the truth of what Chambers says. There are illuminating moments of real personal Godliness to enjoy. But there are also moments of the dismal reality of being way too human.
Those moments are not reward and punishment. They are Reminders. One is a reminder of His reality in you and the other that He cares enough to let you know you still need him. Either way it’s a blessing.