• Steven Marsh

Dryness of Soul: a Reflection on Psalm 7, Deuteronomy 9:4-12, Hebrews 3:1-11, and John 2:13-22

Expecting the fulfillment of what God has promised is “hope.” Yet, I often become discouraged when it seems that what God has promised is in the distance, and a faint image at that.

The writer of Hebrews states rather boldly that followers of Jesus are “to hold firm to the pride and confidence that belong to hope.”

I ache deep within my being when my confidence wanes. How long must one endure unemployment? Why are children victimized in a custody battle appearing to be neglected and unkempt. Really? Why do children of an aging parent idly sit back and watch dementia destroy their dad and mom as the primary caregiver, ignoring the very present need for someone to take power of attorney and do the right thing?

Water is the most important resource on earth. Battles in courtrooms, polling places, and city halls are common place due to water disputes. We can no longer take this resource so casually.

Yet, we take so much of life and its challenges casually. And when it comes to matters of the soul, we are equally casual. Followers of Jesus drink from their own wells. But what if the drought has taken its toll?

With the psalmist I must rebuke my tendency to allow my discouragement over the ascendancy of evil, all the time ignoring God’s promise that the evil of the wicked will come to an end.

I must remember, with the Deuteronomist, that everything I have and do not have is a result of God’s grace not my righteousness. So whining must stop and believing begin.

Being a follower of Jesus is not consumer friendly. But do not tell the modern church that. The soul of many churches is really dry when it comes to what particular congregations are serving!

There is quite an uproar in Congress about Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to the House floor. It is true that Israel’s founding did perpetrate injustices to Palestinian Arabs. The “soul” of this issue will not easily come to a healthy and positive prognosis. Hate, anger, violence, and extremism will never quench the greatest human need, which is community.

For there-in lays the problem. Individualism and autonomy are contrary to God’s greater good.

Scripture Readings are taken from the two-year daily lectionary cycle which follows the liturgical calendar and begins on the First Sunday of Advent.

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