Mathew 12:14-21, Revelation 21:22-27, Isaiah 52:7-10
Can you imagine the ruckus in the synagogue during worship? Rabbi, I don’t like the new music for the psalm. It was too hot/cold inside. I think we should sit/stand during the prayers. Rabbi, who gave you permission to heal that man with the withered hand on the Sabbath?
Does this sound familiar? It should, for such issues arise everyday within congregations. These situations shift focus away from worship and give way to legalism, power struggles, control issues and conflict. Rarely, if ever do they have anything to do with accomplishing Christian mission and ministry. Jesus often faced such scrutiny, because he did not always conform to rules and traditions. Instead, much to the chagrin of the Pharisees, his purpose was to show God’s love and compassion through service to his neighbor.
There will always be persons who look upon the church as a place of perceived power or control. There will always be those who grumble. Yet, the lessons for today teach us that God’s work is not confined within walls and stained glass windows. Jesus shows us the way; withdraw rather than fight, and continue to do the work to which God calls his beloved children.
Prayer: Lead us, O God, by the example of your beloved servant Jesus Christ. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by David Nuottila,
Pastor of Union Lutheran Church in Salisbury, NC.