Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Excess Baggage

Luke 13:22 - 30
Through towns and villages Jesus went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them, ‘Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed. ‘Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us” but he will answer, “I do not know where you come from.” Then you will find yourself saying, “We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets” but he will reply, “I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men !” ‘Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside. And men from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. ‘Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.’

The Jews really didn't really expect everyone to saved - they 'knew' that it was only for those few who kept all the laws, the few who had God's favour (i.e. wealth), the few that had the confidence to stand at the front of the synagogue - telling God how good they had been.

And it happens now - religious people claiming that you will not be saved unless you ...........
Using human law, fear and judgement to decide for God on the fate of others. But who are we to judge?

Paul tells us that God wants us all with Him. He is a God of mercy - He wants to err on the side of love. But we are human and in our humanity we are never going to be worthy.

So how do we get into a position where we can stand before him in hope of salvation? By going through the narrow door. By letting go. The doorway to the throne room is so narrow that you have to leave everything behind; your possessions, your wealth, your books, your rosary beads; you have to cast off everything until all there is is you. And if you can stand like that before God, without all that artifice of human values, then I think you have a pretty good chance of getting a seat at the feast.

If you can't - then you'll be sitting on the stairs for an awfully long time.


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