Monday, July 16, 2007

Just sit in the glory: Collosians 1:15-28; Luke 10:38-42

The Apostle Paul, in a letter to the church in Collosae, wrote boldly about his relationship with God and our relationship with God. Paul said that up until meeting Jesus we are God's enemies (Collosians 1:21). Honestly, even after meeting Jesus, we still kick and scream fighting against God, but that's beside the point. In Jesus we meet God who transcends our fighting so that He can do something completely new with us. God's glory was hidden from most of the world's people before Jesus. Paul word to describe the situation (Collosians 1:26 & 2:2) as μυστηρίου literally God's glory was a mystery or a secret just hidden from view. Some of God's glory was revealed to ancient Israel; but the rest of the world's people knew only God's care for all the world, not God's personal care for each individual creature. But in Jesus the secret is out; God's glory is revealed and its personal. God intends for that very real glory to shine in each of our lives. God's desire is to bring us back into the fold so that he can use us to transform creation.

In Luke 10:38-42 two sisters are bickering about what to do when they Jesus came to visit. One worried about serving the guest, and the other one worried about sitting with Jesus. The serving sister, Martha, complains, “Come on Jesus, make her help.” Jesus tells her that Mary has chosen better. Mary was sitting with Jesus, taking in his glory. Martha was up fussing.

Jesus challenge to us is to always pick one good thing from many. Mary's personality isn't easy to replicate if you've always been concerned about what you're doing its tough to sit down and just listen. Martha was frustrated by the details simply giving and giving but not sitting when she needed too. Jesus glory is the greatest thing. Freedom just to sit in it is here; but we'll often just get lost in all the oughts and shoulds that we think matter.

From Luther's Table Talk No. 274: Dog Provides Example of Concentration
May 18, 1532

When Luther’s puppy116 happened to be at the table, looked for a morsel from his master, and watched with open mouth and motionless eyes, he [Martin Luther] said, “Oh, if I could only pray the way this dog watches the meat! All his thoughts are concentrated on the piece of meat. Otherwise he has no thought, wish, or hope.”

Behold, the heart of the pious dog was also lacking in this, that he could not pray without thoughts.117

116 Luther’s dog Tölpel is mentioned again and again in the Table Talk.

117 The last sentence probably represents the writer’s (i.e., Veit Dietrich’s) observation.

Luther, Martin. Vol. 54, Luther's Works, Vol. 54 : Table Talk. No. 274: “Dog Provides Example of Concentration.” Page 37-38 Edited by Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann. Luther's Works. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999, c1967.

1 comment:

Diane said...

I love your Luther quote (I have a dog)! Reminds me of something from a Eugene Peterson book... the one called "Eat this book." I'll check it out.
It occurred to me tonight that in a way, this is a milder form of the Cain and Abel rivalry....God (Jesus) accepts one sister's form or devotion over the others. the only reason give is that Martha is distracted....
those are my thoughts for the day!