Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Lectionary 28 B - Hebrews 4:12-16

Hebrews 4:12-16
The first humans hid in the bushes when after eating the forbidden fruit they suddenly realized they were naked. The writer of Hebrews understands what the first couple found out pretty quickly. “There ain't no hiding place from the Father of Creation” (Bob Marley – One Love) So if all is laid bare and exposed to the One to whom we all will have to give account how is it that we can approach the throne of grace with boldness? Of course the answer we know by heart is Jesus because Jesus knows a thing or two about being stripped naked. But to trust Jesus so completely as to be comfortable being exposed before the “one to whom we must render an account” is something else entirely. In many ways we are still hiding but now it is behind the bushes of religious rules and regulations that clothe us with respectability. I’m not saying piety doesn't have a prominent place in the life of faith, but there really is “no hiding place” when even the most pious (in the best sense of the word) are guilty of thoughts and intentions of the heart far removed from rigtheousness. If I can be totally honest with you (which is as close to naked as we come with each other) my greatest fear is that my current confidence in God’s grace will fail me in the time of my ultimate need i.e. my last breath when all pretensions are put aside and things done and left undone can never be corrected and we have to take the last step of life alone, even if we are surrounded by those who love us and wish us well. The only way I know how to deal with that nagging doubt is to believe God is more interested in honesty than piety. And so I hold fast to the confession that I am afraid and trust that the living and active two edge sword of the scripture is truer than I am able to believe – Jesus sympathizes with my weakness.

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