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Christmas Countdown 2019….Day 7


Happy Saturday morning! 

Our house is abuzz this morning because Rachel and Zach collected on a birthday gift and had a date night and we had the Fab 4. 

My brain is a bit fuzzy from lack of sleep and answering all manner of questions as I “Lola! Look!”…every two seconds.

But before we break out the donuts and milk I am going to send you my thoughts gleaned from a quick read of Chapter 7 this morning. 

I am really loving reading this Gospel and hearing what you all are getting out of your daily reading so thank you for the comments. 

As I was reading this morning about the healing of the Centurion’s servant, quickly followed by the random raising of the widow’s son in Naan, I had to back track and double check my take on these two stories. 

Of course in past readings, I have always marveled at the kindness of this Roman soldier and we know his faith was commended by Jesus as an example. And I have often meditated on the astounding fact that the widow didn’t even ask Jesus to do this miracle.

It wasn’t in her realm of possibility. 

She was just going along with the rest of the people to bury her dead son and Jesus saw her pain and out of compassion, He raised him up from the dead. 

But the thing I noticed this morning and had to double check was that there is zero mention of either the Centurion or the widow becoming followers of Jesus. 

There is no indication that this Roman was even a believer. 

Yes, he believed Jesus could heal, but did he know He was the Son of God? We don’t know.

The Jewish leaders who came to ask Jesus to help him only note that he loved their nation and  had built them a synagogue. 

There is no indication the widow even was aware of who Jesus was or even a declaration after the miracle that she now knew He was the Son of God. 

And so it is quite poignant that the next portion of this passage is from Jesus’ cousin John. 

John, who had also been a miraculous conception, and had given his life to preach the gospel of repentance. 

John who had paved the way for the Messiah…who also happened to be his cousin. 

John who had been a passionate follower of God and His ways and who had said of himself he was not even worthy to tie the laces of Jesus…languishes in a prison at the whim of the crazy King Herod. 

And he sends his people to ask…did I get this wrong? 

I thought you were the Deliverer but I am not seeing it here on my behalf. 

It grips my heart. 

We have seen this, haven’t we? 

People who do not follow Christ ask for pray and we pray and their child is healed while ours continues to battle the cancer.

Followers who serve and give generously are laid off of their jobs while someone else who has no interest in our invitations to the various events our church has arranged to make it easy for someone to test the waters of the church just takes another great vacation and seems to have it all.

We pray for the young pastor’s wife to conceive and grieve another miscarriage with her while all around us others seem to be bearing multiple children who are not even wanted.

And we have to look hard at those first 23 verses of Chapter 7 and begin to let it sink in. 

This Kingdom of Jesus is an upside down Kingdom. 

He never has, nor will He ever, play by our rules. 

Following Him is not some easy formula that once you have it figured out you are good to go. 

If you struggle explaining Him it is because He cannot be explained. 

If you question where He is in your life, you join the ranks of all the saints who have gone before you and who walk alongside you as we pave the way for the ones yet to come until He returns. 

And only then will we understand and know what we have believed by faith. 

In the meanwhile we will continue to follow Him faithfully, bring Him into every setting where are feet walk and proclaim Him even if He is rejected.

To mold our life to His example instead of trying to make Him fit ours <3

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