Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Only Ashes

Well, I thought it was a long time between my last two entries, but it has been two weeks since my last post. I am attempting to post something every day during Lent, so this is day 1 of that effort.
A couple of days ago, I was reading and thinking about Matthew 2. This chapter contains the story of the wise men visiting Jesus. The text says that after the wise men went to see Herod to ask him if he knew where the king of the Jews was to be born, that Herod and ALL JERUSALEM with him were afraid. Afraid? Afraid of what? Why were the Jewish people afraid of the coming of the promised and allegedly longed for Messiah? Were they afraid because they had treated their faith as simply a collection of traditional tales and now were faced with these traditions exploding into reality? (And they would have to decide whether or not to believe them?) It is easy to give lip service to beliefs when you know they will not effect your daily life. Or were they afraid of change in the status quo? Even though the situation in Palestine at the time was much less than ideal (Israel was occupied by the Roman army and were not autonomous or free), maybe it was to be preferred over CHANGE. Change is always difficult. Many of us would choose dull routine over risky change every time.
Then the question comes to me, why am I afraid of encountering God? Why do I seemingly avoid God and time with God? Am I afraid of what I might find (or not find) in an encounter with God? Or am I just afraid of change? I crave change and yet avoid it at the same time.

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