GOOD NEWS BROADCAST
July 8, 2022
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE:
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life. You stretch out Your hand against the anger of my foes. With Your right hand You save me. The Lord, Yahweh Elohim, will vindicate me! Your love, o Lord, endures forever. Do not abandon the works of Your hands.” (Psalm 138.7-8)
Let me reaffirm the closing from yesterday’s reflection: if we are to pursue the truth and the righteousness of it, then we must consider the costs worth paying…God DID!
And God did it in and through Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah of God and our Christ- Lord and Savior. He is the “right hand” of God which David sang about. He is the “right hand” of salvation sent to preserve our lives in this world as they are in the next. He is the evidence of God’s commitment to not abandon the works of His own hands. He is the “right hand” of God not in the sense of a “right hand and a wrong hand.” God does not give back-handed compliments nor “Gibbs slaps.” There is no “wrong hand of God.” We may certainly get out on the wrong side of the bed, get started on the wrong foot or get a problem wrong but not God. That is the consequence of living in a broken world through which we see the “right” of God in a mirror dimly or in a mirror broken. Have you ever tried to drive a car with a seriously broken windshield? I have. There are reasons why it is illegal to do so. The biggest reason is the fracturing of light as it passes through and across the broken seams of glass. It gives a false picture of the world in front of you. Distance cannot be judged correctly. The conditions of the road and the proximity of traffic cannot be easily ascertained. It’s dangerous. Yet, there are those who persist because they counted the cost and found it more expensive to replace the glass than to create a tragic past.
Only God can see clearly what is ahead of us. In His infinite wisdom and knowledge, God can see from our immediate point of reference and chart a path to our intended and purposeful destination. In the myriad of options to travel, the end is always in sight for God. It may take countless course corrections for us to get on track but the greatest correction needed is the One He provided- Jesus the Christ. God directs us with His “right hand” and says “I AM the way, the truth and the life.” God will never steer us wrong but He will allow us to choose the path we will follow. God will always give us the “right” path and signals to “turn back” in the direction that is best for us; that is His promise of mercy and love. David declares, in what is called Psalm 138, “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You are protecting me.” What is that protection? In the beloved psalm number 23, David declares “While I may walk in the valley of the shadow of death, You are with me and Your rod and staff they protect me with comfort.” What is that protection? It is nothing if it is not Jesus, the Good Shepherd whose “rod and staff” help us through the “cross- roads” of life. And with what in mind? We know: that we may dwell in the House of the Lord forever. But, it has to be our desire, our purpose and our journey. God will not walk it for us. God will walk it with us. He is an “everpresent help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46.1)
So, Jesus is the “right” hand of God because He is the only way by which we gain access to the Father. Gaining access does not mean “permission” as much as it means “presence.” We are not logging in with a pass word or gaining entry with a “secret knock.” What we are receiving is the invitation to find ourselves in the very presence of God “right” here and “right” now. Jesus told Philip as a follow-up to Thomas’s question of “how can we know the way?” when he boldly spoke “Show us the Father and that will suffice!”: If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. It is foolish to then say ‘Show us the Father.’ Don’t you believe the Father and I are one? Jesus had already taught “The Kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” He was not merely speaking of His presence in their company but the very presence of God in Him and through Him who was with them wherever they would go. That was and is the very benefit of being “right” with God. God is “right” here with us: Immanuel. Hard to go “wrong,” if you are pursuing being “right” with God. Thank goodness for His mercy and grace when we “get it wrong.” They allow for us to get “right” on track and back into the mix of life pursuing the truth of righteousness which is for all people. But, His mercy and grace aren’t the only things that God has provided for us so we can stay “right” with Him and “right” on track in life instead of “left” out and “left” behind.
Yes, we can think of Jesus seated at the “right” hand of God and consider then that there is a “left” hand occupant as well. In some cultures, the “left” hand is seen as obscene, filthy, bad or evil. Being left-handed myself, I experienced the wrath of an elementary teacher who considered doing anything with my left hand to not only be wrong and wrong-minded but mean spirited. I give thanks to my teacher, Mrs. Beustring, who set her straight and taught me how to write “right,” meaning correctly, with my left hand. Consider then who is at the “left” hand of God. I believe it is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Truth. Jesus promised His disciples, and through them promises us as mighty ones of God and followers of Christ, the blessing of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is that “left” behind guide, comforter, encourager and empowerer of the faithful. The Holy Spirit teaches us, by word and by engagement, the path of righteousness. We can never go “wrong” if we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit. It is by the Holy Spirit that the presence of Christ is with us to the “close of the Age.” The Holy Spirit bears witness to us and for us. The Holy Spirit is not a “left” over as if we are being fed scraps from the table set before us in the presence of our enemies. Nor is it the crumbs that fall from the table left for the dogs to feast upon as in the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man. The Holy Spirit is One with the Father just as Jesus is One with the Father. Thus, if Jesus left us the word that says “Just as the Father and I are One so then You and I are one,” then it would be equally true to say “Just as the Spirit and I are One so then You and the Spirit are one.” We are one, too? Yes, and we are God’s “one, two” in the world to stand against the enemy of righteousness to do battle against the powers and principalities of darkness and thus bring the truth to life.
And what is that truth? God has not and will not abandon the works of His hands. He will continue to show us what is right and what is good. And what is that? We can learn from Micah 6.8 that revelation of truth as it says “To walk humbly, act justly and love mercy.” That is the revelation of truth drawn from Deuteronomy 6.18 which says “Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors.” So, mighty ones of God and followers of Jesus the Christ, I have “left” for you today what is “right” for us all- God’s Word. Until we speak again let us feast together in the House of the Lord. Shalom!
OUR CALL TO PRAYER:
Father, thank You for abiding in us but also calling us into accountability by Your Word of faith. May our eyes, ears, hearts, mind, spirit and soul be wide open to the leading of Your Spirit in these troubled time. May Your freedom ring in and through us so that the good news can be broadcast into all the world for their salvation. We ask this through Jesus our Christ in whose name we live, serve and pray. AMEN.