Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What God sees matters for us Mark 12:38-44; Hebrews 9:24-28

The words that we read, both in Hebrews and Mark, this week let us glimpse things, not as we see them, but as God sees them. The writer of Hebrews shared a vision of what happened when Jesus came into the fullness of his glory,

Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Hebrews 9:24 NRSV
Our outlook these days, as people, is shaped by an all to common perception of scarcity and loss. Sure scripture tells us that God's up to something big in our lives. Sure we can hear a hundred times that Jesus has died once and for all. But we still live in fear and loss.

The writer of Hebrews wrote.
...he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, 28so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. Hebrews 9:26-28 NRSV
Jesus died and rose and in his dying and resurrection we have hope.

Jesus' blood overcomes all our sins and shames not because of what we've done but because of our faith in what he's done for us. We have a promise that in faith our griefs and losses will not be our end. Even with the promise fresh in our ears its hard not to see the world through our own eyes of personal history and experience. And what we see isn't always encouraging.

We look at our circumstances one way but God sees things in another way. We too often see only the limits of our power and strength. God sees the whole universe, and all of us in it, with heaven's eyes.

We look at our family budgets and our church budgets and boom we hit the limits. The creator of all things sees our place here on this earth; but we aren't all God sees. We look at our troubles and limits; but now we have to ask ourselves a very hopeful question: are these God's limits too?

Jesus and his friends were in the temple watching the people make their offerings.
Many rich people put in large sums. 42A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44
Jesus saw the whole world as it really was and he sees it as it is today.

2000 years ago Jesus saw poverty and abundance in the temple. Today, the same Jesus sees us as we really are too. He knows all about those of us who are blessed with over abundance. He knows those of us who face stacks of credit card bills. He's well aware of the guilt that some many of us have because of our overspending. He knows those among us who live with deep fears of scarcity. He knows those among us who spend on things they want but don't need and can't afford.

Jesus, Son of the Living God, knows those who walk right now in faith and hope not knowing when they'll find work again. God knows all of that. And he asks us to trust Him both in our abundance and in our scarcity. He asks us to give from what we have not for our own glory but for the glory of God and for the good of our neighbors. He asks us to do it all in faith.

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