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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 5, 2010

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 5, 2010 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 5, 2010
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 5, 2010

      **********

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

      Please read the Scripture passage 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 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 22:41-46

      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, "the 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

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