Today’s Scriptures: Lectionary selections from the Revised Common Lectionary Year C
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17
Whether I am feeling it or not, I make an effort to present a confident face in my work and public roles. For those positions where I am in a position of leadership it reassures those following me and bolsters their own confidence. Inside I may be feeling everything but confidence, but my posture, words, and actions mask it as much as possible. Each of today’s passages offer words from some of the greatest exemplars of faith in the Bible.
Job’s passionate declaration that no matter what happens, no matter what discouragement comes his way, he knows God, his redeemer, will be at his side in the judgment. Despite the lowness of his circumstance, he is confident that his right-ness with God will end in justice being done. He is so confident, his declaration opens with the wish that the words are recorded in a book and on a rock so they will last forever.
Likewise, Paul, in his assurances to the church at Thessalonica, knows that circumstances do not always merit confidence when we see them from our earthly perspective. The world was changing around them making many of them wonder if they were in the right. Paul reminded them that Christ had warned of such circumstances and that regardless of what happened in the world, his word was constant. Being connected to the eternal truth, as Job knew, ensures justice in the end despite the challenges that intervene.
The religious leaders in Jesus’s time never did learn the lesson about arguing the Word with the Word. This time the Sadducees, leaders who did not believe in a resurrection (the Pharisees did) thought they found a loophole in the law that would cause chaos in a resurrection world. Their fault, like ours often is, came from seeing the situation from a human, earthly, finite viewpoint. The earthly order is not the heavenly order. In the heavenly, infinite, experience where there is no beginning or ending, there is no need for the institutions we employ. In heaven, we may or may not see grandpa. Even if we do, that powerful emotional connection we have with family on earth pales to nothingness compared to the connection we will have with God when we are in his presence.
Like Job and Paul, we also possess the justification for confidence. Job, Paul, and Jesus gave us the key to that confidence: focus on the eternal not the temporal. When we get drawn into human understanding, everything has limits. With God, no such boundaries exist and our assurances are well placed. It is hard to do those things that we have never seen, but we have directions - we just have to get past ourselves to follow them.
Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org