Posts Tagged ‘responding’

Responding To God With Laughter

January 5, 2017

Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was an old woman. Past the years of being able to conceive at any rate. She had had no children. Desperate for her husband to have children (times were different back then), she told him to take a servant as a concubine and have a child. He did, she did, it was a bad family decision. Good for the descendants of Ishmael. Bad for relations between Sarah and Abraham.

Then God told her she would conceive. She laughed.

Luke, the gospel writer, does not tell us Elizabeth’s response when her husband came home from Temple duty one day.

“Hi honey,” he might have said. “You’ll never guess what happened to me today at the Temple. I was struck unconscious. An angel of God appeared to me. Told me that we would have a child. I told him you were past the years of conception. He said, that’s OK, go home, sleep with your wife, and she’ll get pregnant. God says so.”

And she said, “Rrriiiigghhht…. Now I’ve heard them all.” Maybe she laughed. But they did, she did, and John (the Baptizer) was born.

Looks like one response to God is to laugh. At him. But he doesn’t get mad.

Did you ever get one of those whispers from God that told you to do something and you thought it was so crazy that you laughed at the thought? 

Maybe not getting pregnant at 60, but maybe talking to someone you see who is from a different race, culture, social strata, or gender? 

Maybe you get a whisper to share your story of faith in public. You laugh. “Not me, I can’t speak.” But God wants you to.

Responding To Jesus

January 2, 2017

They were perhaps the most learned men in all of the world. Wealth afforded them the luxury of study. They studied the stars, the meaning of the stars, all the religions of the world, all the science known at the time, all the literature that existed. They had obtained wisdom. They were the Magi.

While observing the movements of stars in the sky, one night an unusual star not seen before ascended. They studied. Discussed. Contemplated. The conclusion–this was the star of a new King of the Jews.

Well, they couldn’t just sit around and contemplate their navels. He was obviously an important king. 

So, they gathered together expensive gifts and started the journey toward the land of the Jews in search of the King.

Eventually they found him. In Bethlehem. They gave him the gifts. They prayed. They wished the family well. They went home without telling anyone, for they had been warned in their dreams to maintain silence.

That is one response–worship, reverence.

Along the way, they stopped by the capital city of the Jews. Someone there surely must know the location of the birthplace of their new king. The current king saw them. When they told him a new king had been born, that upset his plans. That upset him. When King Herod was upset, the whole country was upset. It usually meant someone would die.

Since his scholars told him the birthplace had to be Bethlehem and since the Magi neglected to return to tell him the exact place and family, he responded to Jesus in the way he responded to many things–out of fear and pride. He killed all the male children 2 years of age and under just to assure getting him.

That is another response–fear, jealousy.

There were shepherds earlier in the story. They saw a vision, angels, who told them about the baby. They went. They saw. They told people–not theology about the new king. They just told people the new king had finally been born.

That is another response–spread the word.

What is your response?