Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Without Measure

 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized— John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison.
 Now a discussion about purification arose between John’s disciples and a Jew. They came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him.’ John answered, ‘No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, “I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.” He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.’
 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath. John 3:22-36

I remember cooking with my mother when I was small. At a young age she had me measure flour, sugar and milk out for her. As I got older I took notice that there were some things she didn't measure. She would cup her hand and pour in the ingredient, stare at it for a moment and then give a nod, turning her hand over and dumping whatever it was into the pot or pan. I asked her why she did that. She told me there were some things that are always approximate, some things are not exact, some things you just have to eyeball. Cooking and baking are very much an art rather than a science.

John was trying to explain to the religious leaders and theologians about the love of God. God gives without measure is what he told them. He insisted that God's love was moving in the world, aching to give abundance and healing. Only fear, greed, and control stood in this love's way. Only our need to measure, judge and objectify kept our hearts from being open.

Today I ask God to help me crack open my heart. Let us set aside all judgements and comparisons and open our heart anew to the living God who is love.

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