Monday, October 1, 2012
Welcome to Day 274 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: Zechariah 10; Zechariah 11; Zechariah 12; Psalms 126; Luke 14 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Zechariah 10:6b, “I will restore them because I have compassion on them.”
This chapter is a rebuke to the people, and especially the leaders, of Judah for seeking wisdom and advice from idols, and a promise that he will himself, be their shepherd. RSB
Zechariah 11:7, “So I pastured the flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock.”
Zechariah 12:10, “They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. 11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great…”
Psalms 126:1, “When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. 2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.”
Luke 14:13, “When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
God is for the underdog… the poor, the broken, the hurting, the widows. And he is often rejected by them.
I actually typed my Observation statement before I had read Luke 14. I typed it after reading Zechariah 11:7.
Then, lo and behold, Luke 14 further solidified my observation. “When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed.”
I have always had a heart for the underdog. I have always enjoyed getting to know those who were very different from me.
I often joke at Christmas that we take in strays. You never know who will be at our table.
Two Christmases ago I invited, Ted, a gentleman from our Dayton campus to join us. He brought a friend along. Ted lived at the Biltmore Hotel, a step above being homeless. But he had a motorcycle, which I found curious… He had gray flowing hair and a distinct, low, raspy voice… and a twinkle in his eye.
Ted didn’t miss anything. He was observant and street-wise, with a big heart, well protected by having lived a hard life. He would often give me “the word on the street” about what we (and others like us) were doing.
Ted passed away suddenly just a few months after that picture was taken.
I’m not looking for a pat on the back… really just saying I can relate to these passages today. Caring for those less fortunate is not difficult for me. Going to outreaches and talking with people (or breaking up a fight, as I did this past Saturday…) just feels… well, natural.
People love to put guys like me on a pedestal. (Actually, guys like me often LIKE being on a pedestal.)
But I work pretty hard at climbing off that pedestal people put me on. I’d rather climb down than fall off.
I believe we’re all pretty much the same just below the surface.
There but for the grace of God, go I.
Thank you Lord that you are for the flock marked for slaughter… that you care for them even when you know you will be rejected.