Category Archives: religion
113 I hate double-minded people,
but I love your law.
114 You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word.
115 Away from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commands of my God!
116 Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live;
do not let my hopes be dashed.
117 Uphold me, and I will be delivered;
I will always have regard for your decrees.
118 You reject all who stray from your decrees,
for their delusions come to nothing.
119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross;
therefore I love your statutes.
120 My flesh trembles in fear of you;
I stand in awe of your laws.
Ah, the miracle was done on the SABBATH! The Pharisees saw themselves as the keepers of the Sabbath and their logic or lack of logic got them into a lot of debates with Jesus over the purpose of the Sabbath.
Jesus did not check the calendar to see what day it was before He spat on the ground, made mud, put it on this man’s eyes, and told him to go wash. For Jesus the time was always right for a miracle!
The religiosity of the Pharisees blinded them from the truth about the Sabbath, the truth about this blind man, and the truth about Jesus. Religion has a way of doing that.
Religion can be a substitute for the righteousness that is offered freely in the gospel. Religion can take the place of compassion. Religion can poison one’s mind and cause one to think that he or she can work their way to heaven. Religion can seduce one into minimizing God’s mercy and trampling on His grace. Religion nailed the Son of God to the cross, didn’t it?
There is indeed a God-consciousness built inside each of us that is either met by God’s mercy or twisted by man’s own religious efforts.
The Creator of man, the Second Person of the Divine Trinity, stooped to make mud, much like man’s original creation in the beginning. He can make mud and He can fashion it any way He chooses. But man can judge Him by man’s religion and condemn His creative intervention into our world of darkness. In a world of dust and dirt and precious little spiritual water, He spits on the ground He made and does something wonderful. Which religion condemns. (to be continued)
As a new minister, I was asked by a funeral director to hold a grave-side service for a homeless man, with no family or friends, who had died while traveling through the area.
The funeral was to be held at a cemetery way back in the country, and this man would be the first to be laid to rest there.
As I was not familiar with the backwoods area, I became lost; and being a typical man did not stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late. I saw the backhoe and the crew, who was eating lunch, but the hearse was nowhere in sight. I apologized to the workers for my tardiness, and stepped to the side of the open grave, where I saw the vault lid already in place.
I assured the workers I would not hold them up for long, but this was the proper thing to do. The workers gathered around, still eating their lunch. I poured out my heart and soul. As I preached the workers began to say “Amen,” “Praise the Lord,” and “Glory,”
I preached, and I preached, like I’d never preached before: from Genesis all the way to Revelations. I closed the lengthy service with a prayer and walked to my car.
I felt I had done my duty for the homeless man and that the crew would leave with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication, in spite of my tardiness. As I was opening the door and taking off my coat, I overheard one of the workers saying to another, “I ain’t never seen anything like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”