Today I was reading a scripture that leaped out at me in a way it never had before. Maybe it is because I have been reading a lot of headlines, twitter feeds, and Facebook posts. Maybe it is just that I am tired, both mentally and physically. Or maybe it was because God was speaking to me through His word, like He never fails to do.
I can imagine God looking down on us from the Heavenly throne, with a heart that is heavy. I can imagine Jesus Christ, shaking His head and weeping copious tears for His church, His bride, His body. We Americans who call ourselves Christian are losing our way and becoming more and more like the people he came to set free. We are becoming legalistic, self-righteous, political, and judgmental.
Before you start calling me out, please understand that I do realize there are Christians out there who love and serve Jesus with all of their heart. I hear their voices and see their acts of service and their love for God. I know there are Christ followers out there who have compassion for the unlovable, the poor, the orphans, and the widows. There are servants who speak the truth of God and live it out daily.
But what I see a whole lot more of is people like me. Lately I have been taking a hard look at who I am and how my faith plays out in my life. I like to think I am a good person, but man, sometimes looking in that mirror of the soul is painful.
I am the person who would rather not get out of her comfort zone if it means leaving her preconceived notions about how life should be. I am the person who would rather sit in judgment of someone who does not agree with her opinions than hear where they are coming from. I am the person who has tried to find peace and worth in what others think of me, my career, and my accomplishments.
I think the church of America is on a slippery slope and becoming very similar to Jewish leaders in Jerusalem that Jesus wept over. If you bristled at that statement, maybe you are even closer to that slope than you think. I have watched Christians who equate their politics as their Christianity. I have watched Christians cover up for leaders caught in sexual abuse because it would “hurt the reputation of the church.” I have watched males (and females) become increasingly belligerent and feel threatened when a woman steps outside of her “traditional” role into gifts God has given her.
It is time for us to all do a self-exam of our relationship with God. If we continue to be stiff-necked and proud, prone to legalism and self-righteousness, Jesus is weeping over us.
“But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. ‘How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.'” Luke 10:41-44 (NLT)
YOU OF ALL PEOPLE. This morning this verse really got to me. “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way of peace. But now it is too late.”
Lord, Help me never to be too late to understand the way of peace that only comes through knowing you. Help me to see your truth and leave behind all of my prejudices, false idols and self-righteousness. Help me to always recognize you when you visit me. Amen