Deuteronomy 5:1-6:25; Luke 7:11-35; Psalm 68:19-35; Proverbs 11:29-31
Life in Christ is Never Dull!
Jesus compared the generation of Pharisees and scribes to a then-popular children’s song:
‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ –Luke 7:32
The song invites the hearer into response, but no response is given. That generation was skeptical of the invitations of God offered through John the Baptist and Jesus. Hence, they did not dance, and they did not weep. The Gospel writer Luke says that they had “rejected the purpose of God for themselves” (7:30).
John the Baptist called them to a baptism of repentance, but they refused to be baptized by him. The prophet sang the dirge, but they did not weep.
Jesus proclaimed the Good News of forgiveness and restoration for the sinner and the brokenhearted. He celebrated and ate with them, but they refused to come to the party table. The Lord played the flute, but they did not dance.
When we have a skeptical and critical spirit, could it be that we have no faith? Are we so skeptical of being “taken in” that we refuse to “enter in” to the abundant life that God has for us? Skepticism and a critical spirit could really be a mask for our unresponsiveness to God’s call on our lives. Remember, that in refusing to be baptized, the Pharisees “rejected the purposes of God for themselves.” Are we humbly responsive to the purposes and call of Jesus on our life?
It is easy to stand on the sidelines and be a critic. The Lord would have us enter into the divine drama as a participant. The kingdom of God calls us to enter into all the ups and downs of life and love. At times, the Lord sings the dirge that we might plumb the depths of repentance and weep over our sin and brokenness. At other times, He plays the flute with a joyous invitation to dance with the rhythmic freedoms of His grace. The responsive Christian life in Jesus is never dull!
The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Church of St. John the Divine