Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The Bethany Bullet - Week of February 7, 2016

Intrinsically Sacred…Intentionally Dignified

Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world; red, brown, yellow, black and white they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.  A bold claim is found in these lyrics.  Jesus does not merely love SOME of the children of the world.  He doesn’t only love MANY of the globe’s citizens NOR even just MOST of earth’s inhabitants…Jesus Loves ALL…“all the children of the world!”

The disciples were walking toward Capernaum and an argument broke out amongst them.  Just prior to the brew-ha-ha we are told that a man brought his son, who was possessed by a demon, to the disciples; but they were unable to cast the creature out.  That is when Jesus arrived on the scene.  He had been away with Peter, James and John on the mount.  There He had been transfigured before them, more than manifesting His glory, Jesus was revealing His Deity and Moses and Elijah were there confirming Jesus’ true identity.  He descends from the Mountain to discover His disciple’s inability to rectify the situation of the child’s possession and shortly thereafter an argument breaks out among them.

The confusing thing is they argued about who among them was the greatest!  So absorbed with themselves were they, that they didn’t even fight over which of them were at fault, who was the least among them or why they were unable to take care of the child…no they bickered over who was best.      

Jesus, for His part, identifies with the family, has mercy upon them and restores them one to another and more importantly to their heavenly Father.  After all, Jesus was more concerned with them than He was with Himself. Jesus’ view of life impacted His treatment of the living; and there is no arguing about how Jesus viewed life. Jesus believed life to be intrinsically sacred because it is God’s creation…and so He sought to intentionally dignify life through His action. 

Think about the way Jesus elevated those He spent time with who were from the outskirts of society or lived in the shadows so to speak.  The woman at the well for instance; she was forced to draw water when no one else would be around simply to escape rumors, glares and jeers of the self-righteous who were eager to judge and claim to be greater.  There were the lepers.  They knew full well their lot in life.  They saw their flesh decay daily; they lived segregated from family and society.  They were even forced to publicly identify their infirmity when venturing from the colony by calling out, “unclean, unclean, unclean.”  Jesus didn’t simply stay on the other side of the street and say be healed, though clearly He could have, after all that is how He healed the servant of the Centurion.  An invader and occupier of the nation and yet when He pleaded for Jesus’ action it was given, “such faith I have not seen in Israel.” i.e. “the children of Israel aren’t greater than those of Rome.”  When Jesus reached out and touched the lepers in order to restore them, He not only healed them but identified with them because He knew that while life is intrinsically sacred it is intentionally dignified!

For disciples there is no argument to be made that some are more worthy of life or others less deserving of love.  None are greater and none are lesser.  Hence we’re called to see life protected in the womb and protected in the world.  We should be outraged and seek to stop practices in which parts of the unborn become a commodity for study or sale and those living yet unborn declared to be no more than a choice.  At the same time we should be equally outraged when women and children become possessions for obscenity, victims of human trafficking and stripped of their voice.   Seeking to end such should receive as much of our efforts.  While doing the former we dare not abort our calling to the latter and while doing the latter we must assert it flows from our conviction of the former!  

As those whose lives have been transformed through the action of Jesus, we are called to dignify life both when it is facing daily challenges of justice & equality and when it is facing the challenge of finality.  Both those struggling to make a living and those struggling as they take their dying breathes are to be held as precious in God’s sight and therefore precious in ours.

Thus as we intentionally dignify life through our actions, because of our conviction that life is intrinsically sacred as God’s creation we manifest ourselves as those who believe…“all the children of the world, red, brown, yellow, black and white they are precious in His sight Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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