Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Building Walls

Luke 7 tells the story of the woman who cleans Jesus' feet with her tears and hair. Also in the story is the Pharisee who has asked Jesus to dinner. The Pharisee is indignant by this display of affection. He has built a wall of self righteousness which blocks experiencing God in a new way.
In Luke 8, Jesus heals and saves the man possessed by demons. The town was afraid of this man who lived in the tombs. Yet when Jesus restores this man to community, the town reacts with fear to Jesus. Did Jesus threaten their economic well being by allowing the pigs to be destroyed? Was their economy more precious than this individual's life? Or were they so comfortable living with that old fear, it was hard to give up? They had built a wall of their own comfort around themselves and could not experience the joy of salvation.
In Luke 9, the Samaritans refuse Jesus to pass through their area because he is going to Jerusalem. They built a wall of tradition around themselves which kept them from experiencing Christ. The disciples want to call down fire from heaven on the Samaritans. They have built a wall of judgment and condemnation, Mercy walked with them and they didn't recognize him. Then there are the three who come to follow Christ and Christ explains the cost of following him. I wonder if they turned away allowing the cares of this world keep them from experiencing Christ.
What walls have you and I built up which keep us from experiencing Christ? I wonder how often I dismiss someone because they preach a message I don't agree with or someone who I deem to be in sin and miss God speaking through them and their lives. How often do I hold up the style of worship or the tradition I like as the standard for lively worship and keep myself from hearing God in other services?