World Vision, The Movie Noah, And Mercy

One of the aspects of our current Christian culture that saddens me is the judgmental, critical manner in which we treat one another. Think of all the buzz that was created on social media about the movie Noah and World Vision. It would seem that we love to sit around, evaluate what our brothers and sisters are doing, and then spend an inordinate amount of time nit-picking what they did and did not do correctly.

Sounds familiar…

Lord of the SabbathAt the time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.”

Couple observations…

  • Jesus and his disciples were not breaking the laws of God, they were breaking the man made traditions that the Scribes made up to protect the law.
  • Didn’t the Pharisees have something a bit more redemptive to do with their time? Critiquing the behavior of others? Criticizing the disciples for…eating? Broken and hurting people all around them and this is what they are obsessed with? Deep sigh…

Jesus is very clear with the Pharisees that their focus is dead wrong. He says in verse 7, “And if you had known what this means, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless.” Jesus is quoting from Hosea 6 and is strongly rebuking the Pharisees for focusing on the rules of religion while at the same time failing to be a people of mercy.

I would like suggest a few points of application…

  • Make an effort to be more careful on social media about throwing others under the proverbial bus. Is it really the best use of our time? What would it look like instead to walk in the ways of Love?
  • Turn the TV/laptop off and put the phone down. Spend some time getting to know your neighbors. Ask questions, listen, talk and just enjoy the company of the amazing people all around you.
  • The only way we will ever change from critiquing/criticizing to being a people of mercy is by slowing down and spending time with the Lord of the Sabbath. We will never have the heart of Jesus if we have no margin in our life to unplug and spend time in his presence.

 

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