We have a very interesting pair of readings today; two readings that, for me anyway, show a great dichotomy in my faith life. Perhaps you struggle with this same malady. Let me explain.
In the first reading from Zechariah 8, the prophet speaks of the attractiveness of God. Because all people have a yearning for God (whether they acknowledge it is another matter), and because the Jews were God’s chosen people, the prophet says that people from every nationality will say to the Jews, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” In other words, people would be attracted to the Jews because God was with them. Then in the Gospel reading from Luke 9, when the disciples are not welcomed in a Samaritan village, they ask Jesus, “Lord do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus rebukes them.
These two readings present an interesting portrait of the dichotomy of my faith. You see, I want to exude the love of God so much that people are attracted to me so that I can let them know about Jesus and his saving love. (Read Magnetic Christianity for more.) Then there’s the side of me that wants to call down fire from heaven and consume those that irk me – mostly people that have different ideas about morality issues. I don’t really want to share God’s love with them; I would rather see them done away with. I’m sure that right now you think I’m a horrible person and want to rebuke me. You would be right. But please don’t bother calling or emailing with your rebuke. You see, Jesus has already rebuked me, just as He did the disciples.
Father, you know how often we fall short in showing others your love. Help us to attract others to you through love and humility. Amen.
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