Friday, February 8, 2013
8 February 2013 ~Roxie
Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Exodus 27, 28; Psalm 29; Mark 1
Today's scripture focus is 1 John 2:28
Monday's scripture focus: 1 John 2:29
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Exodus 29, 30
28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
Today’s verse, once again, uses beautiful language throughout the multitude of translations: continue in, live in, stay with, and my most favourite of all: abide in. I know that it is an old word, used in the King James and the different “Standard” versions and the very old English of the Darby and the Wycliffe versions, but I love the ambiance established by the word abide.
Once again, I clicked on my New Oxford American Dictionary and read that to abide means to “continue without fading or being lost” or to “live;dwell” (they call that the “archaic” definition). I read a wee bit further and found that the origin of the word abide is in the Old English word meaning “wait”. Beautiful.
Now I can get all dreamy romantic about words (odd, I know), but dreams and romance are, sadly, not my reality very often. I am not at all good at waiting...sure, I can bring a book and sit in a doctor’s office all afternoon without pulling out my hair or making the receptionist cry in my fit of impatience...but I rail and whine and weep and stamp my feet and yell at my husband and snivel to my friends about things for which only God knows the timing...and not only knows it, but has planned it to the last millisecond to bring out the very best in me...and yet, I complain. Can this be considered “continuing without fading”?
No. I confess, I fade. I fade a lot.
John, an older pastor, a man of vast experience is writing to his beloved students of all ages...beloved Christians of all stages of maturity, wavering about in a world that wants to deceive them and draw them away from the place they have chosen to dwell. John sees that they may fade or be lost and he tells them to wait; to hunker down and just be with Jesus, the one and only Good Teacher. Stay, my friends, John says, just bide.
How do we just wait? How do we bide? It reminds me, very much, of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself ? Tell her to help me!" 41 "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
I am a Martha. I find myself stuck being “distracted by all the preparations” and forgetting “what is better”. Maybe those are the false teachers in my own life, the “anti-christs” like we talked about a few days ago. I get so caught up in all the things I feel like I have to do, allowing myself to be overwhelmed, feeling like I have let myself and others down. I forget about being an anointed child of God. I forget about seeking out “what is better”. Jesus is our Rabbi, our Teacher, the anointing we received at whose feet we may stay and listen...learning how to wait, how to continue without fading.
Why is this important? This biding? This waiting? This sitting at the feet of Jesus? So that we will have confidence (GW) and boldness (HCSB) when He returns (not if, but when!!) and NOT be ashamed!! That’s right: we do not need to be ashamed. We are covered by the blood of the Lamb, washed whiter than the freshly fallen, glittering in the moonlight snow. We have new robes on, dear ones. Robes that wipe off every blemish, every shameful act, every word we have wanted to take back, every thought we have blushed (or winced, if you are not a blusher) at thinking; all gone in a brilliant sheen of purity and newness.
And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we’ll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives.
1 John 2:28 (MSG)