…of Image: a Reflection on Psalm 60, Isaiah 49:1-12, Galatians 2:11-21, and Mark 6:13-29
It is undeniable that followers of Jesus experience, from time to time, the feeling of being abandoned by God. The difficulty is not the reality of the feeling, but the denial. As I examine my own life, there is within the evangelical tradition, one that I am transitioning away from, is a rigidity of showing anything that might appear as weakness. Admitting an experience of God’s absence, would indicate something “wrong” with one’s faith (i.e. not believing enough or praying enough or reading your Bible enough).
And so those who appear to be far away from God most need our attention and love. And who are those far away? Them and us. I am far away from God, in my sense of God’s absence, and those who have yet to realize their chosenness by God are far away. We all need to receive attention and love. This is God’s mission. Love is the core of the gospel.
The human need for image management inhibits our ability to love. And, no matter how hard we work at it and perceive we are succeeding at our pretending, God will have the last word. Even when things look righteous on the outside, our interior is in disarray. The disconnect between interior and exterior will always catch up to us. God will always have the last word. And, it will be for our benefit.
God is not impressed with image management. God is impressed with his image unfolding in us and through us.
Scripture readings are taken from the two-year daily lectionary cycle which follows the liturgical calendar and begins on the First Sunday of Advent.