Human Godliness

Day 14

Genesis 30:1-31:16; Matthew 10:1-25; Psalm 12:1-8; Proverbs 3:13-15

Human Godliness

Our concept of human godliness is built around Jesus, our perfect Savior. We strive for perfection; we strive to be pure of heart, body, and mind like He was. But when we read about Jacob, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilha, and their competition for the most offspring—when we read about the way that Jacob works to outwit his father in law, Laban, it is easy to miss the fact that God was involved in all that womb-opening and sheep-mottling. From the beginning of human existence, our relationships with our parents, spouses, siblings, and friends have been complicated, messy, and rather ungodly.

When we get to chapter 10 of Matthew, it is Jesus Himself who warns of all those ungodly people out there. He sends the disciples out “in the midst of wolves,” to the lost sheep of Israel. Bad things will happen to them when they go out and attempt to tell people they need to be more godly. Children will rise up against parents. Why would Jesus predict all these things?

Because human strife and contention has been happening since before the twelve tribes were even conceived. God’s desire for us is that we might be godly, focusing on loving each other, and acting in a way that honors all people—even in small ways. No matter how much of a mess we make of His godliness, God does not abandon us.

Even in the midst of wives competing for time with Jacob and the building up of Jacob’s wealth, we see God’s purposes play out in human messes. As Jesus deploys the disciples amid persecutions and floggings, there we find God’s purpose. In all of the ungodly mess of our humanity, in and around and through the mess, somehow we get to God’s purpose for our lives. God’s desire for all of us is to enjoy Him in eternal life, a life of perpetual love and acceptance—and godliness. And for that, we are right to center our faith and hope on Jesus, our perfect Savior.

The Rev. Alison P. Harrity
St. Richards Episcopal Church
Winter Park, FL

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