Our History is Disagreement

A reading for Saturday, February 8, 2014: John 7:14-36

As a people we come from with a long history of disagreement. How often in scripture is one group of people arguing with another?  In today's lesson, Jesus is being questioned again by the Jews who are upset that he has healed on the sabbath. They have made their accusations, and Jesus is answering those accusations even with accusations of his own. There are threats. There is anger. There is bewilderment in those listening. Little it seems gets solved.

What does it mean that this is our history? What does it mean that the  Israelites grumbled in the desert it seems five minutes after God had just delivered them from Pharaoh? What does it mean that every king God's people have ever had has faced derision and disagreement? What does it mean that Jesus, the Messiah, was came to his own people, and yet his people did not accept him?

Truly, I don't have the answer. But it seems like this is something to pay attention to in the living out of our faith.  I talk to people who have had it with "organized religion." (Now there is a contradiction in terms.) They are upset that there is rancor and debate in their church, and that one group is upset with another over something that seems inconsequential.  Often there are threats. There is anger.  There is bewilderment in those listening, and yes... little it seems gets solved.

But isn't this our history? Why would we assume it to be different with our generation, when so many others before us have had the same experience? Perhaps we think we will get it right when so many others have gotten it wrong? We can't be that arrogant. Can we?

Truth is, like it or not, the practice of faith comes with challenges and disagreement comes with the territory. It's part of our history.  What is also part of our history are men and women living out faith in God and being saved by the steadfast love of our God. God still saves, even if we disagree on how it happens.  It's messy and unorganized, and yet it still happens. Jesus saves.

I guess that's why my favorite scripture (and the title of this blog) is "Peace to this house..." It's not a standard of perfection, but a prayer and a hope in the midst of the real life practice of faith and our history as God's people. Until Jesus comes again. Come Lord Jesus!


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