Remember me? Sorry it's been so long between blogging. I hope I've got a few things worked out and will be back on my normal Monday-Friday blogging schedule.
Old Testament Lesson
We see a great image in this passage. When we are far from God, it is not God that has moved; we have. It is not God that is far from us, it is our sin that has separated us from God. It is our sin that blinds us, it is our sin that keeps us from fully knowing what God would have us to do. The problem is not God, the problem is our sin.
When we look in the Gospels, one of the main miracles that Jesus performs is that He opens the sight of the blind. We need to have our eyes opened, and not our physical ones. We need the eyes of our hearts to be opened so that we can see God, see what He wants, and obey what He commands. But, until our sin is confessed and repented of, we are separated. It is not that God is not there, we are just blinded by sin.
New Testament Lesson
2 Timothy 1:1-14
This passage reminds us that we are to hold fast to truth, hold fast the the teachings that have been passed down to us by our ancestors, both biological, and spiritual. We should hold fast to the faith of Wesley and Calvin and Augustine and Benedict. We should hold fast to the faith of our mothers and fathers. We should hold onto the truths that they taught and the lives that they have lived.
In this world we live in, we need a rock, a foundation and something to come back to time and time again. For us, may it be the long sacred faith, and if our lives are built upon it, then we will not be ashamed.
We see in this passage what matters is not this life, but what matters is that we stay true to God, and avoid those things that will cause us to stumble, or cause others to stumble. I don't think we should literally be cutting off hands, but this shows us that nothing should keep us from God. If we are a Christian, and something in our live is tearing us from God, we must get rid of it. If can't pray, because you watch too much TV, you may need to turn it off. If you can't come to church because you are too busy hunting, you may what to give it up.
For nothing in this life is worth being separated form God over. Nothing is worth causing others to stumble. We have to place God first in our lives, and let everything else come under that. And, if anything tares us from God, we must be willing to put that thing down so that we can pick up God.