• Steven Marsh

More Substance Less Form: a Reflection on Psalm 10, Genesis 3:1-24, Hebrews 2:1-10 and John 1:19-28

It is interesting that the psalmist cries out to God. From his perspective God is hiding himself from him. That makes sense. I get it. The wicked prospered then as they do now. When I feel that I am being faithful and nothing about my Christian practice seems to be making any difference, I too think that God is hiding. But God is not hiding. Nor have I moved away from God. There is something very powerful about meeting God in the absence. Trust, confidence, dependence and love deepen. Oh, I am frustrated at some level, but the apparent absence of God in my life has proven to be more of a blessing than a curse. The deceptive and “crafty” serpent, however, is another question. Adam and Eve succumbed to the deception. The serpent then and now is consistently at work to trip up followers of Jesus. And I believe the serpent’s deception that God is absent is one of his craftiest lies. With the writer of Hebrews, I affirm that I must pay better attention to the gospel in order not to drift. Christianity as a religion is important as well as traditions. But when religion and traditions become the things that we pay most attention to; well when I do that I am the most “lost.” Loving Jesus and others; it’s not about the forms, particularly when we miss the substance. So, John baptized with water, but he knew that form was just a means to the most important substance; being baptized in the Spirit by Jesus. I need more Jesus and less form. What about you?

Scripture texts 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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