Friday, January 18, 2013

Results Matter ***

S. Matthew 11: 16 – 30

O. Jesus discusses the state of the people he has helped.

A. This scripture holds many jewels, each needing light to shine through them. Jesus starts by talking about the conditions of the very people he was sent here to help.
“It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends, ‘We played wedding songs and you didn’t dance, so we played funeral songs and you didn’t mourn’ . . . But wisdom is shown by its results.”
Results are important. Often, people go through the motions.  How we behave or accord ourselves can be misleading; actual motions masquerade as results. Just because we’re dancing, does not mean we’re joyous. Simply because we go to a funeral does not mean we understand death or loss.

If we really experience joy, others will join in. If we are sad, others will come to our aid. If it’s all an act, there will be no relief. We could even be fooling ourselves. If we are living right, our life will show the results of that good living. If we are living wrong, our life will show that as well.

This is where this scripture takes a turn that I do not understand. Jesus starts talking about the towns he’s visited. It seems devoid of the message he continuously preaches, one of forgiveness and mercy.  He even goes further than just saying these people are lost.
“At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: ‘O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike.”
This simply doesn’t mesh with the teaching of forgiveness and mercy. I can’t fathom how hiding the truth from anyone is what Jesus was about. He was about saving all of us, and every last sinner can be saved.  Jesus ends this conversation with the following:
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
This is back to the message of forgiveness and mercy, and against the paragraphs directly preceding it. The message in this last statement is clear, we can all live and do as Jesus lived and did. The burden is light. To dedicate our lives to the benefit of all beings is right, not just for those that agree with us, but for all people, for all sinners.

P. May I not just go through the motions. May the results of what I've done speak to others.

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