Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Carrying a torch

Today’s Reading: John 18:3 (NIV)

3 So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

Good morning!

Gladys Kravitz is the stereotypical nosy neighbor. She was known for her constant ridicule of subdivision neighbors Darrin and Samantha Stevens in the 1960s television situation comedy, Bewitched. Gladys was a character everyone could relate to! I laughed at Gladys each week as she waited by her living room window, snooping on the Stevens family from daylight until dark; trying to figure out just who they were and what they were up to. She could not convince her husband Abner to pay them any attention, even when she pleaded for him to come to the window and see for himself. Gladys carried a torch for the Stevens family. They were obviously different, and somehow, Gladys felt a burning desire to prove that she had been right about them all along.

People carry torches for a lot of different reasons; the most important is to light the way. Torches were used at night especially, so one could see what or who is up ahead. Torches could be used as weapons in the event of a sneak attack. Some carry torches to divert the light from their own lives onto something or someone else. It seems that when it gets just a little too hot, that a nice torch pointed in the opposite direction somehow takes the heat off the torch bearer. Pharisees were pretty good at torch bearing. They loved to point the finger at everyone around them. Do you think it helped them sleep any better at night?

Judas carried a torch for Jesus. Somehow, he thought if Jesus would confront the authorities, that He would rise up, take charge, and begin the ousting of an evil ruler in a military coup. Judas couldn’t understand it, even after Jesus told him that he had come to die. Setting the stage for the Lord’s arrest was one of the worst things Judas ever did. Yet, he thought he was doing it for all the right reasons.

Are you carrying a torch today? If so, who is it for? Does your torch illuminate the path you’re taking, or is it simply designed to divert attention away from you? Do you have a burning desire inside to make a point, to convince others that you were right all along? Take a closer look at the motivation behind your passion and ask yourself this question today: Whom am I trying to serve?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO



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