Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
My friend, may I ask you a question today? During Jesus’s ministry he was looking for an opportunity to avoid the clamor. His message was a quiet one. Unfortunately, clamor is what he received; a clamor that ended in his death with few being able to hear the message of his Word. If he came down as such to our world today would it be different?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
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We live in a time of great clamor. It seems everyone is clamoring for something or someone or at something or someone. I was watching the news yesterday and witnessed a news story about a speaker at Columbia University in New York. The speaker was an elderly and learned professor from Harvard, visiting Columbia in a guest lecturer series. The minute he took the podium many in the audience began jeering and yelling at him. The clamor got to such a rude level that he, a man of gentle voice, was not able to speak. He came to be heard but this required a gentle reception and audience concern for the words he was going to speak. The clamor, nonetheless, prevented that and eventually he had to rescue himself from the clamor by leaving the podium and finding a chair at the back of the stage. What was so disturbing about this was how vehement the noise was. While some merely booed and some clapped in rythym, many shouted slurs of hate in the speaker’s direction. “Death to those who speak up for . . .” You can fill in the blank. The speaker was invited to speak about a subject of contraversy and many in the audience didn’t want to hear about it. They simply wanted him put out of the campus, denegrated and dispatched as a reactionary opposed to the politic of the moment on campus.
When God brought his Son to earth in the form of a little baby, he did so in like manner to the approach of that Columbia speaker. He came as a baby to enter into the politic of our lives. He was looking for an opportunity to avoid the clamor. His message was a quiet one. Unfortunately, clamor is what he received; a clamor that ended in his death with few being able to hear the message of his Word. If he came down as such to our world today would it be different?
Oswald Chambers writes. “Oh, the clamor of these days! Everyone is clamoring––for what? For the Sone of God to be put to death. There is no room here for the Son of God just now, no room for quiet holy communion with the Father. Is the Son of God praying in me or am I dictating to Him? Is He ministering in me as He did in the days of His flesh?” ( My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers, Barbour Press, August 8)
Jesus came as a baby, not the conquering hero they were expecting (Luke 1:35). As I watched the videotape of the poor speaker at Columbia, I was reminded of how our Savior entered into the debate of spiritual peace as opposed political peace. Most in the crowd would have nothing to do with that kind of message. They booed, made noise, and, yes, made it known that anyone espousing a message of grace over political liberaton should be put to death. They did. Fortunately for the speaker at Columbia he was able to return to his home unscathed. Jesus wasn’t so lucky. The passion of the Christ continues today, both in public and inside our hearts, amid the clamor of “put him to death,” just as it did 2,000 years ago. Our clamoring culture continues to despise the message of grace. If Christ, like that Columbia speaker, doesn’t meet the crowds definition of truth, he will be banned to death. Quiet communion is proscribed, but noise is most often the result.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us a Savior whose message was grace and not condemnation. With the gospel we are healed and not condemned. Forgive us, Lord, when the noise of our lives begins to drown out the quiet but powerfule message of the gospel. May we always remember that to hear the gospel we need to be readers of it and careful listeners as well. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day.
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