A Daily Dose of Good News
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
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Good morning! It is a beautiful day and the leaves are starting to change a bit. It is September 14 and for today’s Daily Dose of Good News, we’re going to do a quick double dose! (Laughs).
So, I’d like you to try and hear the attitude of the speaker in both of these texts. The first is from Psalm 119:169-176.
Let my cry come before you, O Lord;
give me understanding according to your word.
Let my supplication come before you;
deliver me according to your promise.
My lips will pour forth praise,
because you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your promise,
for all your commandments are right.
Let your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, O Lord,
and your law is my delight.
Let me live that I may praise you,
and let your ordinances help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.
Here ends the reading.
I’m struck by the humility of the speaker and how they’re trying to hold on to the Commandments of God and that is their intent and desire. Yet they need God’s help to do that.
So it’s a great reminder of the graciousness of our God- who never ever asks that we do it perfectly. But just that are heart’s desire is to try to follow God’s commands, to try and follow God’s will and God’s way in the world. Even if we need God’s help and empowering to do it. Then also from Colossians 3:1-11, again listening for the attitude of speaker.
So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive[d] language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
Here ends the reading.
I think it’s helpful for us to continue to orient towards: we follow God’s commands because we’re oriented towards the heavenly not the earthly- and the earthly trips us up a lot- understandably. So it requires intentionality and effort to resist that and to choose to focus on the heavenly, to choose to focus on God. To become a new creature in Christ and to put away the things that trap us here. The end of that text, I think is so striking, because even then in Biblical times, we were “othering” people. There’s us versus them. Insiders and he Outsiders. People who are against one another. This is listed as: Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
What if we thought of that differently? What if that passage read: in that renewal there is no longer Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative, white and people of color, rich and poor, heterosexual and homosexual, but Christ is all and in all. Focus on Christ. Focus on the heavenly. In that putting on Christ, it is recognizing that Christ is all and in all. In all of us. So rather than getting stuck in our earthly conflicts, in our earthly divisions, in our earthly ideas that fraction us, remember that Christ is all and in all. Keep your heart and mind focused on the heavenly- even if you can’t do it perfectly, and even if you need God’s help in doing it. Our God empowers and enables. Christ is all and in all. Have a great day everybody. Bye-bye.