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Great Like God

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mark 9:30-32
Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise."

But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it. ... They kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest."

Jesus is teaching his disciples to live "in the world but not of the world." In the next passage he re-defines greatness, not as glory and fame but as servanthood. Greatness means to embrace those who are weak and to comfort those who are lost. And to wash the feet of ... well, everyone.

Jesus' perfect love "casts out fear," but the disciples didn't let him love them. They did not speak up with their questions. They argued among themselves. And then like Adam hiding in the Garden of Eden, they were naked and felt ashamed, so they hid.

I forget over and over that God's eyes are not my eyes. He sees First what I hide. He sees First what I am afraid to share with him. He loves me enough to look there First, and invite me into the confessional. What I hide is what he looks at.

I will eventually get this: that he only looks at my shame in order to heal me. His gaze brings warmth, wholeness and resolve into the part of me I am most disgusted with. God's look burns up the residue of my sin. And in the presence of that kind of love, even the temptation to sin again is driven back.

God is great. God is good. Thank you for patiently shaping us all into images of yourself.

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