Week 9 Day 7
Finding God in the Mysteries of every day
Psalm 126:2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”’
Did you ever wonder if Jesus ever smiled or laughed? As a child in the Church I had the impression that all of the Biblical characters I read and read about were dour, sour, unhappy individuals. The older folks I grew up with seemed to think that all laughter was frivolous and unnecessary. If we read the writings of Solomon the king we get this impression which has permeated the character of Christianity for too long. We fail to remember that Solomon for all his wisdom was a disillusioned and dissipated spoiled man. His thinking had been swayed by so many foreign entanglements that an unnatural bent toward bitterness came out in the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. We dare not dismiss these writings for they contain much truth and are extremely useful for teaching us the necessity of choosing to restrain ourselves. The piece we unfortunately fail to put together is that without the grace and power of God through the Holy Spirit such restraint will always fall short of its desired end which is holiness.
A preacher I know once retold the story of Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman. Matthew 15: 24 But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and began [k]to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” 26 And He answered and said, “It is not [l]good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 But she said, “Yes, Lord; [m]but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed [n]at once. (NASB)
At first glance this story seems like an episode of exasperated acquiescence to yet another demand upon Jesus. The speaker I was listening to, however expressed an idea that has stuck with me to this day. Suppose, Jesus, seeing the opportunity to teach the disciples something about grace played out this scene with a smile on his face, and the woman in her savvy reply smiled hopefully at the Lord. Kind of puts a whole different spin on things doesn’t it?
Please do remember Paul’s statement from a prison cell. Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.