There are passages in the bible which cause me to shrink back a little. Some people refer to them as “hard verses”. These are the words Jesus uses which cause me discomfort. Make me think of the “smiting God” pre-Jesus.
I have tended to reach for google and a commentary or two … reach for Biblegateway and a chapter or two … seek out comforting context … fix my own dilemma:
Jesus is love – why the anger issues, Jesus? How do I fit that with “love”? How do I either excuse those words, or fit them within my “God Soft Hands Jesus”?
One such passage popped up this morning:
Jesus said to the crowds, “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Luke 12:49-53
And off I went to my usual comfort blankets – and that helped a little. Yet “receiving” others’ wisdom never sits comfortably with me. Not until He taps around the edges … makes it fit perfectly … allows us both to nod knowingly.
(is this just a “me and Him” thing?)
Anyway … He helped me out this morning. Reminded me of some words and thoughts I shared with Don Merritt:
“Picture this: Jesus is sitting directly opposite you, knees almost touching, he has your hands in his, and he is looking right into your soul. Now try reading those verses again and hear his voice, feel his touch, and be swept away in what this is all about.
I just did. And all of what you have written here, Don, was there in his voice.
Don Merritt: “I am the Vine, You are the Branches” – http://lifereference.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/i-am-the-vine-you-are-the-branches/
So I read those verses again in that same “knee-to-knee” way. And this is what happened:
Paul, My only reason for being here is so that I can tear down this veil of separation between us. The one you all so lovingly tend – that you gaze at – wondering what is on the other side – “who” is on the other side. And here I am. Dahdah!!
Yet there are those who need that veil, Paul. You call that “misguided” on a good day. And in that one word lies division. Because I am not sure that you will ever “see” them – that they may never see you. I also wonder if you will ever see each other as I see each of you.
Ripples are always dangerous to someone, Paul. No matter how “love filled” they seem to the “pebble dropper”.”
(PAUSE button seems to have clicked on whilst He was speaking …..)
WOW!! Once again I am blown away.
When I allow Him to talk those verses to me – they change. My separation is no longer. His love shines through. But not just for “me” and my relationship – for every single one of us – for each of His creations. There is no us and them. Not really. Not to Him.
And He left me with a question this morning …
My very act of googling and reaching for a commentary – in that very small and very “thinking” response:
“How much do you tend your own veil of separation, Paul?”