Reflections – November 27, 2009

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever! The Lord is on my side; I will not fear what man can do to me! The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation! I thank the Lord that He has answered me and has become my salvation! This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! The Lord is God, and He has made His light shine upon us! Lord, as I begin this day, I give you thanks. You are my God; I will extol You for you are good and Your steadfast love endures forever!

The historical account of the short reign of Gedaliah as governor of the Babylonian-occupied Judah is the subject of today’s second reading. Gedeliah’s assassination and King Evil-merodach’s release of Jehoiachin from prison fill out the remainder of the reading.

Today’s Readings: Psalm 118; 2 Kings 25:22-30; Isaiah 21; John 18:1-27

Isaiah delivers his second series of oracles. Today’s reading deal with the wilderness by the sea, Dumah and Arabia. The purpose of all is to show God ruling over the nations. Isaiah’s description of his appointment as a watchman by the Lord is one that resonates with me. The role of a watchman is to keep constantly alert and to faithfully report whatever he sees. A key role of the watchman is to send warning to those he has been assigned to watch over. I consider one of my responsibilities as a parent to be a watchman over my kids. I also accept this role, in a broader sense, for all children growing up in a culture designed to appeal to their innocence to sell products and to further the cause of those who have less than pure motives. I wrestle with “constructive discontent” from time to time as I look for ways to be of greater service as a watchman in the Kingdom of Christ and in my community.

John’s gospel, paints the word picture of the betrayal and arrest of Jesus. The shuffling of Jesus between them, by Jewish and Roman officials, demonstrates just how biased were their attempts to point blame at Him. They sought to bring to bring Him to trial and to execute Him based upon their prejudices, not for any wrong that He had done. One of the points Jesus makes is, that all that He taught was open and above board. He was not conspiring to lead a coup to take political or military power from them. The straight-forwardness of His words and actions contrasts sharply with those of Roman and Jewish officials of His day. The denials by Peter and the re-affirmation by Jesus, of the purpose of His coming into the world, close out today’s reading. As I reflect upon these events described by John, I am reminded once again that not everyone will accept Jesus, when confronted with the truth that He brought to the world. Some feel threatened by the power that Jesus seeks to usurp in our lives. He requires number one spot in our hearts. Some feel intimidated by the commitment that Jesus asks us to make, in loving Him more than father, mother, son or daughter (Matthew 10:37).

Have a blessed day, dear reader! May the Lord’s light shine upon you!

–Randy Sexton

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