Thursday, March 3, 2011

Some reflections on scripture. Maybe I will talk about australia afterwards.

Matthew 9: 1-8/ Mark 2: 1-12/ Luke 5: 17-26 -  Jesus heals a paralytic
     Its a story that most have heard. A crippled man is brought by his friends to Jesus when he is teaching, and Jesus notices their faith, has compassion on the man, and heals him. The man then walks away, healthy.
     Thats not why I like this story.
     This is a current favorite due to how Jesus heals him. Originally he "Saw their faith, and he said 'Friend, your sins are forgiven.'" The man is still laying crippled on the mat. But he has just been healed.
     Then all the pharisees think he is blaspheming, and then he heals him physically.

This is a beautiful picture.

Philippians 4: 13- "I can do everything through him who give me strength." (NIV)
     Commonly- "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (dunno which version/NKJV?)

     I always hated this verse. Not because of what it said, but how it is used in the modern world. In my mind, this is the stereotypical verse that athletes use to make themselves believe that they can be the most successful and that God wants them to win the 'ship. This is the verse that people use to justify wants and desires of the physical world. I just hate the fact that it has become almost a cliche that means God is giving his favor to you so you can fulfill the earthly desires of your heart.
    But, over the past couple days I have read the whole of Philippians a couple of times.  Paul is writing this from prison, and is under persecution and living in conditions that I can't imagine. The verse in context reads:

"I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

    Spoken from a man in prison, who is encouraging people not to worry about him, this verse means something completely different. It screams of God's sovereignty and of the brokenness of the world. It screams that Jesus is enough. More than enough.

    Now I like this verse. It's encouraging as I deal with all the stress of transition and living in conditions that aren't 100% to my liking. I don't have AC or a clothes dryer, but I do have lots of cockroaches. Paul doesn't necessarily have food. But Jesus is enough for both of us. Even if I am a little bit spoiled back home.

As for Australia, Americans should know that we are not the only people who abused the natives to a ridiculous degree.

Song of the moment:
The Blowers Daughter by Damien Rice

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