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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 5, 2004

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 5, 2004 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our new book of
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 5, 2004
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 5, 2004

      **********

      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
      here is a selection from our new book of daily devotions,
      "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the Rev.
      Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

      Please read the Gospel and Dr. Bochonok's meditation.
      We hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      A theological dilemma

      "Now while the Pharisees were gathered together,
      Jesus asked them a question, saying, 'What do you
      think of the Christ? Whose son is he?' They said
      to him, 'The son of David.' Jesus said to them,
      'How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit,
      calls him Lord, saying, "The Lord said to my Lord,
      Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under
      thy feet"? If David thus calls him Lord, how is
      he his son?' And no one was able to answer him a
      word, nor from that day did any one dare to ask
      him any more questions."
      Matthew 22:41-46

      Jesus' listeners face a dilemma. If Jesus proclaims
      himself to be the Messiah everything would change.
      People would need to choose sides in a spiritual-
      political-religious revolution that would turn their
      world upside down.

      Nonetheless, "[t]he large crowd listened to [Jesus]
      with delight" (Mark 12:37 NIV) as he asked these
      challenging questions (see also Luke 20:41-44 for
      another version of this teaching). Jesus tells the
      crowds and Pharisees that the Messiah was more than
      a descendant of David. The Messiah is David's Lord
      and superior, radical theology for the listening
      crowd.

      Suddenly the mood of the crowd shifted to apprehension
      and fear. The throng sensed the embarrassed Pharisees'
      cold hatred towards Jesus. Any more questions would
      be far too dangerous for askers and listeners alike.
      Jesus was clearly on thin ice as he spoke with such
      authority and presence. People shifted uneasily on
      their feet, some coughing and clearing their throats
      in the thick and uncomfortable silence. The Pharisees
      were not interested in engaging in good natured,
      jocular debate. They were dead serious in their
      growing resolve to permanently silence Jesus.

      Many times I find myself wondering what relevance
      particular biblical passages have. It can be
      difficult in the best of times to understand and
      appreciate some of these ancient stories. As one
      who grew up in a distinctly Protestant home, I can
      only try and imagine with my limited ability just
      how outraged and determined these devout Pharisees
      were in their growing resolve to destroy Jesus. The
      furious Pharisees intimidated the great crowd with
      fear. Speakers and listeners alike realized any more
      being said could lead to a point of no turning back.
      There are times when silence is golden and this was
      one of them.

      What are we to do with this story? Perhaps all we
      can do is linger with the tension in the crowd and
      think of what really was at stake. If Jesus is who
      he claims to be, then we too, face the crowd's dilemma.
      We must then accept or reject his astonishing spiritual-
      political-religious revolution that continues even to
      this day. Our decision is intensely personal and will
      affect how we live, love, work, play, rest, and serve
      God and humanity.

      God, what do we believe about this person named Jesus?
      Help us live our beliefs about him today. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

      Please visit the Chi Rho Press Web site. You can order
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      find this book on our Web site at
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/devotionals.html#Bochonok.

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