God’s Word for Today: Scattered.
Hopefully, this past weekend, you had a restful, soul replenishing, family filled Easter weekend. More stories, more memories, parts of your scattered family longed for and missed and prayers filled with a renewal of Blessings.
From Thursday night in the Garden, thru not a Good Friday for Jesus, his followers (at least the men anyway) scattered like a group of underage adolescences at a drinking party upon the sound of police sirens. The idea was not to get caught. To not have to suffer the same consequences of what Jesus was and did go through. Come what may, it was time to scatter, hide, deny, and try really hard not to be associated with Jesus. Very sad, but very true. I believe if each of us looks close, we can find a time where we separated ourselves from Jesus for one reason or another. Very sad, but very true.
The best part is, Jesus came back. He returned, and the scattered remnants of His following slowly gathered together to receive their gift from God, His love, His grace, and His instruction to share the Word. Can you relate?
Ezekiel 34:12. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of cloud and darkness.
I pray you know this part well. Again and again and again.
This word for today, scattered, also explains a very important detail that I hope you can grasp.
Acts 8:4. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.
I have been blessed to attend many, many different churches of almost every Christian denomination possible. Not all, but many. From Catholic services, to Lutheran, to Methodist, to Church of God, to United Church of Christ, to Pentecostal, to Episcopalian, to Evangelical, to Seventh Day Adventist, to Jehovah’s Witness, to Assembly of God, to Baptist, and to a few others scattered all over this world.
I have been enlightened with very specific ceremony and ritual not to be ever strayed from, to dancing and praising and singing, to rolling in the aisles, to speaking in tongues, to men sitting on one side of the church opposite from the women, to having no walls surrounding and simply being in the presence of good in the middle of His wonderful and beautiful creation.
Which one has it right? Which church is the ultimate and perfect example of the message Jesus brought to this world? The answer is simple, all of them and, in some respects, none of them.
You see, when Jesus’ disciples and the disciples of the disciples and so on, scattered and shared God’s message throughout the world, they also scattered and shared a part of their human nature and ways of thinking. The core message Jesus has brought to this earth remains intact. But the ways to get to this message are far and wide and maybe confusing and frustrating because of the “human” factor being added.
That is OK. The day your body gives up its last breath, and your soul begins its journey of joining God, then and only then will all the scattered pieces of this amazing puzzle of God’s love for us be assembled into a clear understanding. Until then, carry one simple not scattered message with you:
John 3:16. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Amen and amen…………..