Tonight is the Christian Passover. Between staying up late trying to get a camera to stream to a specific service and preparing for the Passover, I am not going to post much today, and there isn’t enough time to do a podcast. So, I am going to put down some random thoughts:
My inability to do these tasks reminds me of my weaknesses. The struggle to get out leavening from some very tight places reminds me of my limitations. Truly, the older I get, the more I understand “I can do nothing on My own initiative” (Jn 5:30 NASB).
There is snow falling as I write this. Some areas in the Midwest have been hit already with a “spring” storm. Jokes are flying around about firing Punxsutawney Phil or even indicting him for fraud (all tongue-in-cheek, mind you). However, we need to pray for one another while travelling (or even if not, if that is the case) to services.
We tend to think of things like snowstorms as Satan stirring up trouble before Passover, and it certainly has some truth to it. Have we considered, though, what that means if services are cancelled in any location? Can Satan really have the upper hand, or could it be that God wants us to examine ourselves a little harder first?
However, weather permitting, we need to go. I’m always shocked by people who say they don’t want to partake of it because they are unworthy. Well, of course you are! That’s the point! Christ’s sacrifice was a gift. Do not trample on that gift by refusing to take it!
Still, provisions are made for a second Passover if you are physically unable to participate (“on a journey”, physically ill, etc.). It’s not anything to be ashamed of, but we should always look to redeem the time. We can still do Bible study and continue to examine ourselves.
As I clean, I am well aware of the need to get leaven out of my life. However, not all of them are my crumbs, are they? Does this remind me that my sins affect other people?
It reminds me that it always comes down to authority. We clean the areas we have control of, but we don’t presume to clean areas we do not. At the office, I can only be responsible for my desk/cube/office. I am not responsible for the possessions of others. I need to worry about the beam in my own eye before worrying about specks here and there affecting others.
Authority also means I can make my minor children help out and do the areas they are responsible for. It is part of my authority as a parent. It is an area directly under my control, and since it is given by God, I need to do what I can to encourage my household within that authority. At work, my authority is given by man. My authority is much more limited and narrowly focused. Anywhere and any time, however, I am responsible for myself. I must keep that uppermost in mind and leave the rest to God.
I must develop the discernment that goes along with this. I need to discern truth from error. I also need to discern the practical implications of what I know and what I do not. I must discern how to put it into practice, and that requires practical knowledge of my areas of responsibility and control as well as those that are not.
HWA used to say the Gospel was about government. True, a kingdom is a government, but is that all it is about? It seems that his focus was far too narrow. Where does God specify His form of government in the New Testament? He does not. That is because we must learn the difference between authority, which is a responsibility requiring discernment, and government, which tends to be a mere structure. Most of all, we need to acknowledge the Ultimate Authority in the Church, in the world and in our lives. No form of government will mean anything if we do not do that.
When Jesus said He could do nothing without the Father, what did He mean? After all, He was God in the flesh! It means He recognized Who had the power, i.e., authority. He constantly pointed to the Father for His authority. God’s government was not on earth at that time, and it is not here now. However, by becoming baptized, we have acknowledged God’s authority in our lives, and we have voluntarily done so.