God Pause for Friday, 7/18/2014

Luther Seminary God Pause

Friday, 7/18/2014 Reading: Matthew 12:24-30

Even in this age of de-cluttering, when one asks the question, "Do you collect anything?" there often comes a positive response: figurines, spoons, art, baseball cards, records, etc. We seem to gain a sense of satisfaction in collecting things.

Jesus collects, but he collects people, not things. In Matthew 12:30 he asserts his agenda for the future. When he speaks of "gathering" and "scattering" his words are meant to be understood as a description of his return. When he comes at the end, the harvest will be gathered, the chaff will be separated, the sheep will be separated for the goats.

The gospels are clear about the ones Jesus wants to gather in his collection: misfits, outcasts, the forgotten, the ne'er-do-wells. In other words, people just like us. The old Eve is accustomed to division. The old Adam sees advantage and opportunity in scattering and tearing apart. But like the mother hen who puts her wings over her eggs, Christ seeks unity and protection for those he has saved from sin.

Loving Shepherd, help us to pray as you prayed, that your followers would be one. Take away our pride and forgive us for our self-centered ambition, so that in our gatherings your kingdom will be experienced. Amen.

Jason W. Talsness Pastor, Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, Lawrenceville, Ga. Master of Divinity, 1997

Matthew 12:24-30 (NRSV)

24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "It is only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons, that this fellow casts out the demons." 25 He knew what they were thinking and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? 27 If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his property, without first tying up the strong man? Then indeed the house can be plundered. 30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

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