Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Kill the Messenger... We sure did that definitively when it came to Jesus. You might ask, “Where are you getting this ‘we’ from?” You are right. The “we” really should be “I”.

I find myself frequently holding a hammer, poised to strike another blow on a nail in a hand or a foot. Every time I mess something up when it comes to how I treat people, I realize I’m swinging the hammer, first at them, but ultimately at Jesus.

Anyone who knows me, knows that a hammer is the last thing they think I should be holding. Many an ‘expletive deleted’ merged when I failed to hit the nail, especially if the blow fell on a thumb instead.

Unfortunately, there are times when I realize I’m altogether too good at hitting some human targets with a quick barb or an unconsidered rash judgement.

And then, to top it all off, there is the Lord hanging on a cross. Jesus says, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” I think to myself, “I know now what I’m doing.” I think I am keeping him there with my little hammer blows. Killing the messenger...

The scriptures for this weekend and especially Luke’s gospel, give us images of turmoil and conflict. That’s especially true of the expectations that the disciples of Jesus had about Him. They, along with all the Jewish people, were looking for a Messiah, and Jesus kept saying and doing things that didn’t fit the profile they had of what a Messiah should be.

Then came the personal question: “What is my Messiah profile?” My profile for Jesus as Messiah may be far too neat. My Messiah is the one who says to me, “I love you unconditionally, I forgive you completely, I will never leave you alone.”

That’s amazing, but as I write, I’m realizing that the only reason I’m letting him speak to me right now is because I was writing this Twitch.

What good is a personal creed (based on Fr. John Fuellenbach) if I don’t say it each day? Actually, I’m not saying it. The Lord is speaking. The personal creed part is that I believe what I am hearing Him trying to say to me. I believe that Jesus is saying to me, “I love you...” In theologyland, I suspect hearing Jesus doesn’t exactly qualify as a creed. A creed is my personal act of faith in the presence of God and what Jesus is saying.

Have I given you a headache? I may get this all worked out by homily time this weekend. My basic thought is, how often do I let Jesus get a word in edgewise so that I can renew my faith in him?

Does the turmoil of this weekend’s scriptures come home to roost in the turmoil we are experiencing in our world and in our own country? No wonder He can’t get in the edgewise word!
James tells us, “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice.”

He continues, “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity.”

Finally, “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.”

James speaks truth. His truth serves us. He recognizes our turmoil, but then offers us hope.

James probably was the leader of the Church in Jerusa¬lem and not either of the two Apostles called James. In case we wonder if he knows what he is talking about, the times of his early church were filled with turmoil, including his death by stoning. How blessed we are with his legacy.

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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