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December 14, 2015

The good news for today

When, one time, Jesus had come into the house of prayer, the religious leaders and the political leaders approached him as he was teaching, and questioned Him: “By what authority are you acting this way? And who granted you any such authority?” (Matthew 21, 23)

The authorities designed this “gotcha” question not to get information, but to catch Jesus in a logical dilemma. They ask where His authority comes from, and if He says “God,” they laugh at that; if He says “other humans,” they laugh at that (“WE are the authority here.”)

People address the same question to anybody who says he or she is following Jesus in His way. No matter your answer, people will laugh at you—or worse. Ask yourself the question

If you say humbly and respectfully, you listen to God—in nature, in history, in other people and in your conscience—they will smirk and dismiss you as a fanatic, an egotist, and a fake. If you say humbly and respectfully that you obey the civil and religious laws, follow the rituals and customs of your tradition, and believe as you were told—you will be questioned. Not about healing on the Sabbath, or driving out demons or working miracles—but for associating with sinners, for acts of mercy towards the unworthy, and disregarding “the way we’ve always done it.”

The Good News is that you are free to do good!  Yes, you hear the Quiet and you see what others do not. You admit failure. You belong to a community, but know that is only part of you—or rather your community is a means, not an end. You love one another as best you know how, stilling your baser instincts, forgiving and seeking forgiveness—these identify you as a child of God, bumbling along—at peace, preparing for Jesus every day in every way.

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