Pastor's Corner - February 24th
Jesus’ plan to “rule the world” began with a rather unusual objective: be a Rabbi and make disciples. "Rabbi" is a Hebrew title reserved for a very special kind of teacher. Rabbis taught people how to live in stride with God's Word. In the first century, Rabbis called their most gifted students into discipleship. The goal of a discipleship was to to live, speak, pray, serve and love like their Rabbi. Disciples endeavored to become living reflections of the one who called them.
But Jesus was rather unconventional in his approach to discipleship. He actually calls fishermen to follow in his footsteps. Most rabbis would have completely overlooked these folks for discipleship. But Jesus bids these blue-collar fishermen with, “Leave your nets, for I will make you fishers of men and women.” Jesus sees more potential in them than they could ever even imagine. NT Wright likens this unexpected exchange to a famous sports coach calling fans from the stands into his starting lineup. Wright says, “This is the strange thing. When God came back at last, coming to establish his rule of heaven here on earth, that seems to be exactly how he went about it. Lots of people thought they were just spectators suddenly found themselves summoned onto the field of play.”
Surprisingly Jesus actually makes this same approach to you and me. He doesn’t want us to be “Christians by name only”. He casts a new vision upon our lives. We aren’t meant to rest on our laurels or watch safely from a distance. Jesus actually wants us on his team! He wants us to be disciples who follow him with every thought, word and deed. This is why I say: Jesus is my rabbi.
In Honor of Thanksgiving
In honor of Thanksgiving weekend, I would like to share with you a prayer of praise from one of my favorite poets, Ted Loder,
Praise be to you, O Lord, for life
and for my intense desire to live;
praise be to you for the mystery of love
and for my intense desire to be a lover;
praise be to you for this day
and another chance to live and love.
Thank you, Lord
for friends who stake their claim in my heart,
for enemies who disturb my soul and bump my ego,
for tuba players,
and story tellers,
and trapeze troupes.
Thank you, Lord,
for singers of songs,
for teachers of songs,
who help me sing along the way,
and for listeners.
Thank you, Lord,
for those who attempt beauty
rather than curse ugliness,
for those who take stands
rather than take polls,
for those who risk being right
rather than pandering to be liked,
for those who do something
rather than talking about everything.
Praise be to you, Lord, for life;
praise be to you for another chance to live.