Saturday, July 08, 2006

Matthew 7

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’
23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’

I've got a t-shirt with a photo of two blithe spirits smiling at the camera, and the caption reads, "We're all going to hell!" I'll post it as a jpeg in another post. In any event, this brief sermon of Jesus always reminds me of the shirt. If anything, we are far too glib about our "being saved," "going to heaven," the promise of a sweet by and by. We're too glib about this on two levels. First of all, most of us simply assume we are saved. There's no question in our minds that our sins are of such a magnitude, or that God could be so discerning, that we ourselves are not among the elect.

Second, we're glib because we don't tremble at the thought of our salvation, that we have been saved from something. If we were to live daily and hourly with the knowledge that we have been saved from something (think of Edward's "Sinners" sermon and the dangling spider), would we live so absent-mindedly. Would we not always be rejoicing at having been saved from, and in anticipation of what we've been saved to?

There is, according to Christ, the very real possibility that we have been worshipping a Lord we called Christ, and thought was him, when in fact the Lord we had as Lord was a Lord of our own invention. The real Jesus didn't know us, because we were off courting some other false Lord.

So, we are called here to stop and think carefully. Are we worshipping the one true Lord, the Jesus of the creed, the Christ who desires that we do the will of the Father. And how would we know? How can we be sure?

There are good answers to these questions, but our devotion for today invites us to remain with the question for a while, to remain shocked and incredulous, wiping the silly grin from our face.

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