Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tough Questions

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "`You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: "What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "The son of David." He said to them, "How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,

`The Lord said to my Lord,
"Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet"'?
If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?" No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. Matthew 22:34-46
My mother has often said she keeps a list of questions for God. I have never seen this list but we have discussed some of the questions that make up her list. She really wants to know why any parent should have to suffer the loss of a child. When my sister Peggy died of cancer at the age of 42, my parents were staggering and shattered for a long time. She is such a faithful Christian woman, I wonder what questions she is formulating for God as she sits in a wheelchair, semi-paralyzed and fully dependent in a nursing home at 91. She asked me after she fell why God didn't take her then. She is ready and she has her list.

The Pharisees either thought that the Sadducees gave up too easy, or were spiritual whimps compared to them. They take a run at Jesus as a group. Nice behavior for religious, God fearing folks! Jesus calmly answers their questions then asks them a question or two in return. They were stumped and silenced from then on. We have a loving God who invites us to ask questions and to seek answers. And we also live this life shrouded in mystery. God's time and timing is not ours. God invites us to draw near with compassion and love and to worry about loving our neighbors and serving others. In the service of others, we will find all the answers we need.

Today I ask God to help me trust in the midst of mystery and questions. May we, when the road ahead seems very unstable and unclear, trust in God's love working for us. May we get working for the love of others and know that we will have answers in the midst of our service.

The Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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