Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Food for thought 2

Hellllo there
I lead a devotion the other day before class and this concept has been on my mind a lot ever since I've been here in Honduras so I wanted to share it.

During my devotion time at one point I ran across the parable of the bleeding woman in Matthew 9. It gave me alot of thought/ideas for whatever reason. So this woman was bleeding for twelve years and here illness was severe, she was hopeless and anemic. I pictured she's just like one of those people you see and it's very difficult to look at and it's very easy to be grossed out and not relate with. But because of this she was also excluded from normal religious and social relations. This is how the pharisees rolled. They saw her as unclean and therefore didn't care about her.
But first off, how AWFUL is it that they had normal social and religious relations. In no way are we called to be normal in our faith, if we are then we're offending the gospel and settling for lukewarmness. We're then saying, no thanks God I'm going to work on my own comfortable terms that I'm okay with.
So there's this big crowd around Jesus and he was currently on his way to heal a dead girl. And this bleeding woman was probably shamefully trying to hide from everyone because they viewed her as an unclean sinner. She wants to stay unnoticed, and then she says, "if I can only touch the fringe of his garment". Then Jesus turns and literally FEELS the womans faith and says, "Take heart, your faith has made you well". So there's probably a toon of people touching Jesus and rubbing against him, but he feels the powerful faith of a woman that barely touches his garment.This goes to show that he responds to our faith and immediately will turn when we come to him with it. And I instantly thought of another verse that Jesus says , "Take heart, for I have overcome the world." This "take heart" is Jesus telling this woman to worry no more and to not be overwhelmed with her suffering, for Jesus absorbs her sufferings and pains and makes her well through her faith. O yeah...he also overcomes the world.
So, what if we looked at Jesus like this woman did? That if we could only touch his garment we could be healed? Jesus wannts us to put his faith in him and wannnts to absorb our pain, embarassment, and shame, but we have to extend that unclean, bleeding, skimpy arm of faith before he can do that.
So in the context of my international development experience here in Honduras, I automatically thought of the  people that are suffering from injustice that are lost in the crowd. The crowd in this story represents society, quickly going on to the next big thing, which was at that time Jesus. It's pretty ironic because while he was the big thing at that time, they completely turned their backs on him and end up crucifying him. But amidst this crowd and searching for the next big thing, we lost sight of the needy and hopeless. And if we do come across a time when we just happen to see the weak and hopeless, we cringe when we look at them and act if they're not image bearers of God as well. Fpr some reason, whatever it is, we feel ENTITLED to our privelege, when all we've really done is got lucky and won the lottery in regards to our wealth.  We tend to say, o, that's unfortunate for them, I feel bad them for them, but I'm going to continue to find my identity in the crowd (society).
I also thought that alot of times as well, when it comes to Hondurans suffering injustice, they're like the sick woman but they don't even know how to seek help. They don't know that they're wanted. This woman was lucky to somehow know that Jesus was the way, the truth, and the life because what was happening at the time with Jesus performing miracles. And in NO WAY am I saying that we should be playing Jesus, but as Christians we're to go out and SEEK this woman and show her that she IS worth something and that she is made PERFECT through Christ, and that she IS an image bearer of God. And it's not going to necessarily be easy to find this woman, because we're caught up in the crowd (society) and we want to serve what's in our best interests. No ones going to tell us that this woman is amongst us suffering and she sure as heck won't be able to tell you because she doesn't know there's healing out there and isn't able to move because of the conditions she's in. Let us GO and find the sick women who don't have a voice and are full of sadness and shame due to injustice all over the world!!

we've been reading and studying this book in class, it's called "Good News About Injustice"and it's an ammmazing book. It seriously pumps me up every time I read it. This guy, Gary Haugen, the starter of IJM, ( international justice mission, a huuuge non-profit organization) uses his faith and scripture directly in his striving for justice. he mentions how underlooked God's call for justice is in the Bible and how important it really is in understanding God's character. Here's a couple excerpts that I picked out from the book

pg.98: We are God's hands of mercy and love. Occasions certainly may arise when God intervenes in some utterly supernatural fashion that bypasses all human instruments, but overwhelmingly God chooses to 
limit himself to those miracles he can perform through people who are obedient to his call.

pg. 100:(I paraphrased a little for it to make sense):"It is no wonder that so many people in the world are tempted to despair with the injustice just like the psalmist did: "Why, O LORD, do you stand so far off? Why do you hide yourself in time of trouble?" (Psalm 10:1). But gradually it has occurred to me that the problem may not be that God is so far off; the problem may be that God's people are far off." 



don't know if this even made sense or vibed with anyone, but i felt the call to write it.

2 comments:

  1. Awesome insights, Eric. Thanks for sharing. It is important to always keep perspective and count our blessings. But, like you said, we need to take hold of the opportunity to share God's love wherever we go and especially with those that don't think they are worthy. After all, Jesus was always attracted to those that weren't "mainstream" society...he went to the outcasts, the lepers, etc...don't you think that's what God would want us to do, also?

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  2. along the same idea....I just came across a bible verse during my daily devotions that kinda explains why I have struggled with the American agenda being in line with how we are called to live out our lives...Gal.5:13 says...For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters, only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

    I think the freedom in America is promoted to be self indulgent most of the time.

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