Monday, April 18, 2011

Jesus,J-Lo and Me

Fame is a fickle thing.  If you don't believe me ask Jesus or
She has gone from being an overnight star to being the  butt of  Ben-iffer jokes to now being declared the most beautiful woman in the world.  What a ride.
Yesterday we remembered Jesus returning to Jerusalem on the eve of the Passover celebration.  He was a rock star.  The common people who had followed his fame were so excited about his premiere in town that they paved the path He was following with whatever they could get their hands on.  Tree limbs. Their clothes whatever.  By the end of the week many of these same people yelled "Kill him!" when the masses sentiment changed.
On the other side of town Pontius Pilate, a political powerhouse, was entering also to the cheers of his fancy political peeps.
Power and humility.  Fame and shame.
Someone once told me "What others think of you is none of your business.  Your business is to do the right and loving thing."
This week of fame then shame was a litmus test for the teachings of Jesus and I have to bring that home to my house by asking how do I suffer in affliction?
There is much wisdom in this quote by Thomas Case:
“In affliction God reveals the unknown corruptions in the hearts of his people: what pride, impatience, unbelief, idolatry, distrust of God,murmuring, and unthankfulness. Sin lies very close and deep and is not easily discerned until the fire of affliction comes. The furnace discovers the dross. In the furnace we see more corruption than was ever suspected. What self-love is there boiling and fretting within me, what pride, distrust in God, creature-confidence, discontent, murmuring, rising against the holy and righteous dispensations of God! Woe is me, what a heart I have!….
In affliction, he empties us of ourselves to make us fly to Jesus Christ for righteousness and strength. He lets us see what is crooked that we may straighten it; what is weak that we may strengthen it; what is lacking that we may supply it; and what is lame that it may not be turned out of the way.
Affliction also teaches us to pray. They that have never prayed before, will pray in affliction. They will pray more frequently and fervently…In our affliction, God keeps us upon our knees. Christ himself in agony prayed more intensively. So with David. He gathered up all his strength to pray, and like a true son of Jacob, wrestled with God, and would not let him go until he got the blessing.”

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