Good morning. It is Friday, May 8, 2015. Two days until Mother’s Day.
Today’s Word of the Day, from the OED, is psephocracy. More than likely chosen because they just had elections across the pond, this word means, “The form of government which results from the election of representatives by ballot; the system of government by elected representatives.” Very interesting, as that is pretty much what we have in the U.S., as well.
Today is No Socks Day. I have a friend or two that would like this.
Christi is still coughing up a storm, it seems. She had a rough night, last night. At this point, I’m beginning to be concerned that something serious is going on, as it doesn’t seem to be improving. I’m guessing the antibiotics didn’t fix whatever it is, so it must be viral. The PA told her not to take Nyquil because of its effects on blood pressure. I’m thinking that we need to weigh which one has a worse effect; Nyquil or not sleeping! This brings to mind something that also concerns me about the medical community. Our doctor’s office told her to take Mucinex. The last time I was sick, I went to Minute Clinic and saw a nurse-practitioner, who said she doesn’t like Mucinex. You see, there really is no consensus in the community at all! You get one thing from one doctor and another thing from another doctor. Running is good for you. Running is bad for your back and feet. Well, which is it?? We’ll never know.
In the news of the weird category today, the Texas Rangers have won four games in a row.
Today is Friday, of course, but I have to work tomorrow. I’ll be going in at 7:00 AM, so if there is a blog at all, it will be more like a weekday version without all the weekend “bells and whistles.”
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Jesus, teach me to abide.
(From Knowing Jesus)
Today’s reading is “Jesus Sharpens Priorities.”
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
“Following Jesus demands that we sharpen our priorities.” As Jesus traveled around announcing the coming of God’s Kingdom, people had to learn how to focus on the things that were truly essential to life. This meant, sometimes, going beyond “what was good and acceptable behavior.” It meant not settling for good when the best was available. What did C.S. Lewis say? “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” (Emphasis mine) Jesus should be our top priority.
In the first of the three passages above, several would-be disciples came to Jesus. He advised them of the cost. Following him might mean not having a bed to lay on at night. A couple of others wanted to give priority to other activities. They weren’t unnecessary activities, but, nevertheless, would have to take second place to following Christ.
In the second passage, seventy disciples returned from a “mission trip” with “glowing reports of successful ministries.” Jesus did rejoice with them, but then told them that they should not rejoice that they had power over demons, but should, instead, rejoice that their “names are written in heaven.”
“How often have we ranked earthly success, even in spiritual warfare, above heaven itself?” Paul tells us in Colossians 3 that we should “focus our hearts and minds on things above and give priority to where Jesus is.” (Colossians 3:1-4)
The last passage, which can be somewhat humorous, uses a “family spat” to sharpen priorities. Martha is consumed with household duties, sweeping floors, preparing a meal, and so on. She gets aggravated that Mary does nothing but sit at the feet of Jesus. But Jesus tells her that only “one thing is necessary.” This is “our clearest, sharpest guide for setting our priorities.” What is the “one thing?” “Jesus is it. If he outranks everything else in our lives, then we have discovered that one necessary thing.”
Jesus doesn’t want to stand on the “periphery of our life, accepting leftovers.” He wants us to choose the best over what is merely good. “Only one thing is necessary, to sit at the feet of Jesus and to enjoy him forever.”
Father, forgive me for having many things in front of Jesus. Teach me to make him my one thing. Teach me to seek that holiday by the sea, to choose the best instead of what is merely good.
I pray for this day. As we travel to and from work today, may our passage be smooth and safe. As we work today, may our work go smoothly. May we seek to follow you as we go about our daily activities at work. I pray for Christi’s cough to go away, Lord. I pray for Stephanie, that you would show yourself to her today. Lord, I pray for Rachel, that you would give her confidence in herself. Show your great love to her and Justin today. Keep giving strength to my mother, Lord.
May wee seek that “holiday by the sea” and stop making mud pies.
Grace and peace, friends.