Who was in charge when you were a child and your parent or parents were not available? To whom were you subject? My wife and I left our children with their grandmother one day. My four-year-old daughter had a meltdown with her grandmother and let her know, “You’re not in charge of me; I’m in charge of me.” Most of us desire to be in charge of ourselves. Who is in charge of you?
The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that angels are not in charge of the world. The ancient world looked to angels for this service. Angels were thought to be mediators between humanity and God. But the writer of Hebrews argues that angels will never do as mediators. No angel has ever been a human; no angel has ever stood where we stand. But Jesus, the Son, has! The value of his life comes not only through his incarnation but, more particularly, his “suffering of death.” Unlike the death of other humans, Jesus’ death brings salvation; we find ourselves justified. God, through the very human Jesus, brought divine love to bear.
My church is partnering with many refugee families to serve as advocates, often working as mediators between landlord or agency and the new citizens. Church members have been blessed to get to know our new neighbors. Who in your community has no voice? Is God calling you to listen?
Our mediator is Christ who has been given all authority. Who is in charge? Who will advocate for us? Jesus as mediator will “declare our names” to the congregation. This mediator will let others know that we belong.
Lord, help me be a voice for the voiceless, an advocate for those with no support. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear and feet to move as you call. Amen.
This month we read about Job, an upright man who faces severe trials but never loses his faith. Job’s story brings us face-to-face with the fact that living a godly life does not make us immune to suffering. Like Job, the psalmist wonders why he suffers, even though he lives according to God’s standards. Hebrews presents Jesus as the ultimate example of unwarranted suffering, yet because of his perseverance he is ultimately glorified. In Mark, some Pharisees test Jesus on the interpretation of the law concerning divorce. Jesus makes strong statements about marriage, but his larger concern is that their hearts have become hard. He contrasts them with little children, who model faith by receiving God with an open heart.
• Read Job 1:1; 2:1-10. How do you live with integrity?
• Read Psalm 26. When have you turned to God, fully expecting divine intervention in a tough situation? What happened?
• Read Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12. When has your reaction to God’s showing up in unexpected ways resulted in a face-plant?
• Read Mark 10:2-16. How questioning a person are you? When have your questions helped you move below the surface of an issue to see the supporting understanding?
Respond by posting a prayer.