Meditation: When resistance and opposition to God's word rears it head how do you respond? With fear and doubt? Or with faith and courage? The prophet Jeremiah was opposed by his own people because the words he spoke in God's name did not sit right with them. They plotted to silence him and to "cut him off from the land of the living" (Jeremiah 11:19). Jeremiah responded with meekness and prophetic insight "like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter" (Jeremiah 11:18).
No one could be indifferent for long when confronted with Jesus and his message. It caused division for many in Israel. Some believed he was a prophet, some the Messiah, and some believed he was neither. The reaction of the officers was bewildered amazement. They went to arrest him and returned empty-handed because they never heard anyone speak as he did. The reaction of the chief priests and Pharisees was contempt. The reaction of Nicodemus was timid. His heart told him to defend Jesus, but his head told him not to take the risk.
Who is Jesus for you? And are you ready to give him your full allegiance? There will often come a time when we have to take a stand for Christ and for the gospel. To stand for Jesus may provoke mockery or unpopularity. It may even entail hardship, sacrifice, and suffering. There are fundamentally two choices we must choose between: to have our lives fueled by God’s selfless love for others or by our own self-centered love and selfish desires, to be loyal to God’s wise rule and kingdom laws or to the standards of a worldly kingdom opposed to God, to be servants of Jesus our Master or slaves of sin and Satan. Are you ready to stand for Jesus and to show him honor and loyalty whatever it may cost you?
"Lord Jesus, your Gospel brings joy and freedom. May I be loyal to you always, even though it produce a cross on earth, that I may share in your crown in eternity".
This reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager, whose website is located at: http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/