Thursday, February 25, 2010

Missing the message

Today’s Reading: Acts 13:27 NIV

27 [Paul said,] “The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning Him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.”

Good morning!

I think I must have inherited some of my strong, opinionated ways from my dad. Our parents certainly have a way of impacting their children’s lives by the things they say and do. They make their contributions, for better or worse, and we must choose what to accept and reject. Daddy carried some very strong convictions on life in general and did not hesitate to share his worldview with us, most often, at the dinner table. We learned at a very early age not to engage Daddy in any conversation regarding religion, race, politics and especially labor-relations. Do you have family members and/or friends who hold strong views and are unafraid to verbalize them? Do their words sometimes irritate you to the point that you cannot keep an open mind?

My father was passionate about what he believed, and, as I think more about what he said today, I have a greater regard for his tenacity and courage in speaking up. Daddy drew some harsh conclusions that I still believe are wrong. If he were alive today, I’m not sure I’d try to rehash it with him. Do you ever wonder whether the battle is worth fighting?

Paul was speaking with the Holy Spirit power when he confronted the worshippers at the synagogue. He was making a point that was horribly distasteful to many in his hearing. And yet, he was speaking truth, clearly written in the Scripture. We, who crucified Jesus during Passover, did not recognize who He truly was. And, by doing so, the Scriptures were fulfilled just as it had been prophesied hundreds of years before.

Our strong will and personal opinions often work against us when we hear the Word of Truth. It is not always easy to hear truth spoken and readily accept it. Sometimes, our culture and family upbringing adversely affects our ability to fully open our hearts and minds to the words being spoken. There are times, almost every day, when I know I brushed up against the robe of my Master and did not recognize Him. I was shamefully way too preoccupied with my own personal thoughts and opinions. Are we missing the message because we’ve tuned out the messenger?

It is time to open our hearts to the truth of the matter. I have to have intervening help to be able to listen and learn. Won’t you join me in asking the Lord to help us set aside our preconceived notions, so that we can hear and understand what He is trying to speak into our hearts today.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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