Archive for May 14th, 2008

Embrace The Mystery

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Luke 6:43-45 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Julie Benson):

If a fly falls into a communion cup, does it defile the cup or sanctify the fly?

While this conundrum may be amusing, it could present quite a serious challenge to those who try to delve into its inner mystery in order to find absolute resolution.

Likewise, these three verses in Luke have always been a riddle to me.

Will good, loving parents who provide a perfect balance of discipline, direction, and instruction ever produce a completely incorrupt child? On the other hand, can a child who has suffered from the pangs of poverty, abuse, and lack of nurture never grow up to live a fulfilling life with honor and love?

If good and evil do exist in this world, where is the line of distinction between the two? Can a repentant serial murderer who has otherwise led a generous life be considered good? Would a person raised without knowing Jesus who perpetuates the cycle of violence in his life be considered evil?

If we are all created with the stain of original sin, are not all of us evil at our core, needing to learn how to overcome this inherent evil with good?

Suppose my heart is usually filled with a fair amount of compassion and perspective on life. If my feelings are trampled on by a friend or spouse and I then lash out at that person in anger, has my mouth spoken from what was abundant in my heart? Good? Evil? Which signifies who I really am?

Often times in our spiritual journey we are confronted with scriptural passages or theological questions that stir up confusion and doubt. So what are we to do with all of them?

Passages like this should cause us to search further. Consult with multiple Bible commentaries. Find a good book on the subject. Discuss the matter with a trusted spiritual leader. Chew on the matter with friends over lunch. Converse (talk and listen) with God about it. But in the end, realize that an answer does not always have to be found!

One of the greatest parts of my faith in God is embracing the mystery. I don’t have to understand all the nitty-gritty details in this lifetime. God will present certain truths to me when I am ready to receive them. Throughout scripture, God hid certain things from people that were not revealed until a specific, later time.

For me, great mysteries like how creation really happened, or how free will and predestination are perfectly balanced, and smaller mysteries like why Jeff has combed his hair the same way for 40 years, or where my cat went when she disappeared for a week before returning may never be explained. And that’s OK!

Thought for the day: Don’t be discouraged by your scriptural and theological questions. Search further and embrace the mystery of God!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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