Thought for the Day: Have you ever had someone complain about something in particular, and then turnaround and basically do the same thing? Jesus was calling out the religious elite for the heavy requirements they placed upon the masses in regard to achieving communion with God. Not only were there many hoops, but these hoops were on fire and constantly moving. Fellowship with God seemed nearly impossible for most people. Salvation, that is, finding fellowship in the love of God had absolutely no requirements and no hoops according to Jesus. Instead of having people spend their lives trying to earn fellowship with God, Jesus basically said that it was a done deal. And once you come to that realization, you can focus on what is really important – living a life that loves God and neighbor. Yet it wasn’t long after Jesus offered those words that the church, the entity that was to be the Body of Christ, did exactly what Jesus opposed. Throughout its history, the church has continued to create hoops along a theological obstacle course, suggesting the great life-long challenge of earning God’s love. It was often used as a distraction by those who were doing something not so Jesus-like. You get people fearful that their salvation is hanging in the balance, and you get them focused on all these rituals and practices that the church says are required, then the people never have the time to ask tough questions about what the church is really doing. Access to the love of God is, in fact, easy, and any burden can be brushed aside. Jesus wants us to find rest in that love so that we are not spending our lives fearful of losing it. Instead, he wants us doing the work of love. Whenever someone suggests you need to jump through a bunch of hoops before you can find fellowship with God, you can confidently express how you’ve already found rest in that love.
Prayer: I am amazingly blessed, O Generous and Gentle God. I am truly blessed for there is nothing I can do that will separate me from your love. May I find rest in that Good News, and then live my life so that others might encounter that amazing gift. Amen.
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Rev. Bruce Frogge