Cenobitic Dissappointment: When God does Nothing

A friend of mine once said, “God isn’t operating on your schedule, but he’s always on time.”

I wonder, if perhaps the monks of the British Isles felt this way when Viking Raiders hauled them to the edge of a cliff and maybe, as they sailed towards the tumultuous waves beneath them, they took time to praise the good Lord Jesus for his noble sacrifice seven hundred years earlier?

Biblically, let us go ahead and go through the hall of fame of being abandoned by God. First, there is Israel in pretty much the back half of the old testament.  There’s Job, who gets a whopping 32 chapters of being totally neglected, after which he is magically given everything twofold that he had before. Karma, right?

Next we have Jesus, who depending on what branch of Team Christ you stand on was either abandoned on the Cross or not. That doesn’t count because he comes back. There’s his mom, Mary, who gets to see her son killed, there’s again the fact that he comes back.

So basically if I had to get to any answer for what can you say about losing your life for Gods sake, or not having the Pony or BMW you asked god for? There’s Jepthah, in Judges, 11:29-38. For a short version, he promises his Lord to sacrifice the first thing he sees when he gets home. Unfortunately it’s his daughter, Mizpah. She’s okay with this somehow. Funny how people focus on Abraham for “almost killing” his son and not on Jepthah for *actually doing it* to his daughter?

There’s not a lot of stories about people getting straight up abandoned by God.

In Ruth you have Naomi, but even she is there to hook a sista up with rich old Boaz. But you do have the babies. Babies killed by Herod on the birth of Christ, Babies killed by Pharoah around the birth of Moses, babies killed by God upon the final plague of Egypt, babies killed by God on the flooding of the world. Abel killed by Cain as the first act of wanton man made violence. Babies killed by God in the flooding of the world for Noah.

So?

 

 

Jesus Christ Versus Slappy the Clown

In the red corner, in a tunic with holes in his hands, is the literal son of god, the only many to defeat death, Jesuuuuuuuuus CHRIST!!

In the blue corner, in big, bulbous shoes with a honking nose and grease paint, the purple polka dotted punisher, Slaaaappppyyy the CLOOOOOWN.

To make things worse, Slappy works as an immigration rights attorney by day. He will use the old hebrew words of ger and nekhar to describe the various rights of a sojourner versus an illegal immigrant.

Then there is Jesus, who tells us to love our enemies. (Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you)

Slappy has funny face paint and makes us all feel happy and smile.

Jesus has the grim determination of a man who sweats blood.

So now lets go to round 1: the OLD TESTAMENT

Leviticus is a book well known to both sides of the whole “god thing.” It bans lobsters, and has made for a great photo op at protests.

Looky here at Chapter 19:

33‘When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34‘The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God. 35‘You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measurement of weight, or capacity

Slappy would open with a 1, 2 punch of saying this only applies to neighbors with whom political agreements have been made(hebrew ger), with a right to be there.  Then he would honk his nose and juggle trumpets while riding a unicycle. Fun fact, the well known jingle for circus music “Entry of the Gladiators” is also the same notes as George Bizets famous “Habanera” from his Opera Carmen. Haha Slappy, you always give me a chuckle!

But what about Jesus. The rights of a foreigner are often mentioned in passages such as  in Leviticus 19:10

You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.

Or more specifically in Leviticus 23:22
“‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.'”

These are groups who even today in many parts of the world(orphans in Romania) have no social standing or rights. It is hard to think of the ability to beg and get the scraps and leftovers and not equate this to the bottom feeder cut eye we give those on, say,  welfare and other social government programs.

Let’s go to a Jesus plan, straight to revelation 19:15


15From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Is the weapon of Christ more likely to be the oppression of others through legalism or through near self destructive love and compassion?

I mean is this influx of people from the middle east A) a muslim invasion or B) a fresh crop for the harvest, Matthew 9:37

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.

But some may be terrorists?  Oh Slappy the Clown, you always get me with your hilarious water shooting flower lapel:

Proverbs 22:13
The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the public square!”

We always have a good reason to avoid unpleasant or hard work.

And think of the superficial joy of a circus clown, laughs, yuk yuks, temporary solace for the price of a ticket, making you a refugee in the circus tent? Or are you Jesus, charging nothing only asking for others to do the will of the father?

We can’t ignore that God tells us that we will have to deal with foreigners in the way others had to deal with the Israelites when they were strangers, and we know what happened to all who violently opposed the Israelites with swords and anger, I’ll give you a hint Slappy, it’s not good.

We can ride our unicycles under the big top, patting our friends on the back with temporary laughs for being a fellow Christian, laughing at each other and at those outside who can’t pay for the ticket to get in, or we can be Jesus Christ,
Matthew 19:14
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

And give those with no social standing an opportunity to draw closer because this is not a circus, this is not a game, and the scoreboard of eternal life holds no ceremony or the opportunity to come back to town next year, it’s one chance. Slappy the Clown.