Thursday, December 4, 2008

Daily Office Reflection: Lip Service

Psalms 18:1-20 * 18:21-50; Isaiah 2:12-22; 1Thessaolonians 3:1-15; Luke 20:27-40

The Sadducees become dumbfounded by Jesus' response to what they thought was another "trap" question about the resurrection. The only response they can muster to Jesus is to say that he has spoken well. What a cop-out on their part. Their prejudices and set beliefs ran so deep they could not see nor hear something new, something God was setting before them as truth. They were so doctrinally stuck, and perhaps so afraid of any change in the balance of power that Jesus represents, that they simply blocked him out by giving him a little pat on the head and saying, good boy, nice job, and then going on their way to plot his demise.

The Sadducees predicament is a common one among those who steep themselves in doctrine and belief-systems. Blinders are easily put on, a belief that you have to be right sets in because of the hours and hours of study done. Yet when something happens to call into question that doctinarianism that rules one's life, instead of refocusing on the doctrine to see if their is a flaw, or if God is pointing us to some different way to understand Scripture, the world, ourselves, many times the self-imposed belief walls cannot be breached, and God's voice is lost. By paying lip service to Jesus and not examining other possibilities, those scholars lost a dear opportunity to more closely interact with God.

This is not a safe or comforting thing Jesus is asking us to do, but that labor is part of being a Christian alive to a world infused with God found in surprising places. Don't be doctrinaire this Advent. Be alive to God's presence in the new, the unexpected.

Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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