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Plain and Simple for Dec. 19, 2013
SoVaNow.com / December 17, 2013When I feel particularly Grinch-like, it is helpful to turn to the scriptures for inspiration. This past week, we were given Matthew 11:2-11 in the lectionary. John the Baptist was in jail and he sent messengers to Jesus to ask if he was really the Messiah or if they should wait for another. Not exactly heartwarming material.
Poor John, on his way to the Prophets Hall of Fame, had detoured to a miserable jail which had only one way out—death. Jesus, whom John had baptized, was having a great ministry, but he was not doing it exactly the way that John would have done it. Thus, John is having some doubts. Who can blame him? Let’s be honest. When you look around this world, don’t you have a few doubts now and then? In the Greek, things are put fairly bluntly. There are two words for “another” in Greek. If you are asking for something of a similar kind, you use “allos.” So, if you want another apple, you would ask for another (allos). If you are tired of apples and want another fruit, you would use “heteros.” John asked if he should look for another (heteros) Messiah.
Some experts say that there are probably at least twenty-five percent of the people in church on any given Sunday who do not believe a word of what we are saying. They are there for different reasons, perhaps wanting to believe, but they are not at that stage yet. They are like John; they wonder if they should be looking for another way out of life’s problems. And those are the people who bother to come to church.
So, what do we tell them and ourselves? Maybe we should answer as Jesus did. He told John’s disciples to tell him what was happening. The blind saw and the lame walked. Miracles were happening. Maybe you don’t know of any miracles that are happening in your neighborhood.
I think that you are just not looking closely enough.
Let me tell you about a few that I saw just this week. I heard of two children who were freezing without proper coats and I shared that information with a church member. They had coats by that afternoon. We helped a family get a heat pump to heat several foster children when their heat went out. I saw a children’s program with the hope of the future representing Jesus.
A child had his fingers severed but they were reattached and doing fine after prayer warriors went to work. Coincidence? Maybe. But my Messiah is alive and I am not looking for another. He was born in Bethlehem and will come again.
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