• Steven Marsh

Love Always Wins: a Reflection on Psalm 119:1-24, Isaiah 61:10-62:5, 2 Timothy 4:1-8, and Mark 10:46

I recently read an article in World magazine about the increase of Cubans coming to America, which was prompted by recent US policy changes related to Cuban-US relations. The thesis of the article is that the openness now emerging between our two countries is harming a Christian revival that is people coming to salvific faith in Jesus, in Cuba.

Really? God’s activity of reviving Cuban souls is now dictated by US-Cuban foreign policy?

I am so glad that God is not controlled by human actions. The psalmist writes that our pursuit of happiness must be rooted in God for happiness to be truly successful as a human pursuit. I wonder if Cubans leaving…or the rise of any number of vices in the country because of an “open” Cuba will stop God in God’s tracks of changing hearts.

Joy is a result of salvation. How might a less restrictive Cuba be an opening for salvation; personally, corporately, socially, and in many and varied forms of social and political liberation? I’m anticipating a more significant revival of the imago Dei in the human spirit. I don’t foresee missionaries being thwarted, but their work enhanced by a more just society.

Salvation is to be proclaimed in word and deed. Followers of Jesus are to be persistent in their convincing, rebuking, and encouraging. Salvation, from my perspective, is becoming more wholistic in Cuba. And may the benefit of such a reality in Cuba become more of our experience here in the United States.

Bartimaeus boldly demanded to see Jesus. He wanted Jesus to heal him. The annoyed disciples finally brought him to Jesus. And Jesus granted Bartimaeus’ request. Bartimaeus believed that Jesus could and would heal him. Such was the case. How do I and many followers of Jesus behave routinely like the annoyed disciples?

I am willing to let God be God. I know that sounds bizarre. But, I find the church and many Christians wanting to control God as well as those who receive the outcomes of faith.

I’m leaving behind that “collective” within the Christian movement. It’s lonelier and seemingly isolating. Yet building relationships with the perceived “enemies” of God is producing happiness. I wonder if I’m more rooted in God than previously for the success of my happiness and the salvation of God’s world.

Something to ponder; not just for me, but for any inquisitive reader of this reflection.

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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