Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday of the First Week of Lent

Psalm 40Deuteronomy 10:12-22Hebrews 4:11-16John 3:22-36

Immediately after noting that nothing can be hidden from God, but that God is aware of everything, that “everything lies naked and exposed to the eyes of the One with whom we have to reckon,” the writer of Hebrews enjoins the reader to “hold fast to the religion we profess.”

Why? If God knows everything, and we are imperfect, of what use is it to hold fast to a religion—of any kind? Aren’t we doomed, anyway? Well—doesn’t that depend on the religion we profess? And here the writer of Hebrews comes to our aid. In one of my favorite passages from scripture, the author writes (verse 15 of chapter 4):
“For ours is not a high priest unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who, because of his likeness to us, has been tested every way, only without sin.”

When I dishonor my commitments to another, my advocate with God understands he has been tempted to do the same thing. When I put myself first, my advocate understands he has been tempted to do the same thing. When I get things all wrong, my advocate understands he was tempted to do the same thing.

Does it matter? The writer does not say. Does he tell us what we can do? In a sense, he already has: “hold fast to the religion we profess.” And that is?
“Let us therefore boldly approach the throne of our gracious God, where we may receive mercy and in his grace find timely help.”
Again, is any response possible, except “WOW!” or its equivalent? A merciful, gracious, and helpful God! Jesus has totally changed the context for our understanding of God from the jealous, vengeful Jehovah to the loving and understanding father. Do we still need help? Yes. Do we still need mercy? Yes. Are they available to us? Graciously, Yes.

Paul Brockman

No comments:

Post a Comment