Is It Time to Shake the Dust off our Sandals?
Devotional Thought of the Day::
11 If you come to a town where people do not welcome you or will not listen to you, leave it and shake the dust off your feet. That will be a warning to them!” Mark 6:11 (TEV)
27 “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’” Matthew 13:27-30 (NLT)
9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)
1 Don’t let your life be sterile. Be useful. Blaze a trail. Shine forth with the light of your faith and of your love. With your apostolic life wipe out the slimy and filthy mark left by the impure sowers of hatred. And light up all the ways of the earth with the fire of Christ that you carry in your heart. (1)
It seems as winter comes to an end, as we ready to change our clocks tonight, many of us are struggling with relationships. Even relationships that were broken many moons ago.
I’ve probably heard the top verse, about “shaking the dust” fifteen or twenty times in the past month. From pastors and church leaders, to those who come to church maybe once or twice a year. ( One of the conversations was about wiping the dust of a church off their feet – but I think they met the church as as an entire entity.)
I am tempted, in such conversations, to make them pull out a BIble, and look at the context of the passage. But often, in that moment, the pain they are reliving blinds them to that context. WHat would happen, what has happened, is that they selectively hear me, and continue to use the passage, or add me to those who dust has left their feet.
You see this passage isn’t about getting the people who are negative in our life, and doing away with them. It’s not even about pruning our relationship “tree”, cutting off the dead wood. Or getting those who presently won’t listen to the gospel out of our lives and circles, lest they comehow pollute our world, and our relationships. The shaking the dust off their feet was their ignoring the message of Jesus kingdom being established soon, not about our personal pains, oru brokenness, whether by our actions, theirs or a combination and desire for mutually assured destruction.
It’s not even about their rejecting the love of God, as we present it.
It can’t be, for if it were so, then what about the other passages I placed above, about Jesus commanding His servants to leave the weeds side by side until the Harvest, and about God’s desire and will that none perish. This passage about shaking the dust from one’s feet has to be understood in context with it. Could Peter be wrong about the patience of God? Could Jesus’ parable be set aside, if the people are too evil? That we rip them out of our lives, and refuse to share with them the very love of God, because we’ve closed the door?
You might ask about the two disciples in 1 Timothy, that Paul hands over to Satan, or the people in Matthew 18, that a congregation treats like publicans and sinners. Can’t we do that, we ask ourselves, trying to justify our own defenses. The question is, do you really see them, as former brothers and sisters in Christ? Those who have walked away, and only by experiencing the depth of despair that is found in being in bondage to Satan, will they cry out for mercy? Even then, you must ask yourself – if they repent, are you willing to take them back, to forgive them 7 times 70, or as many times as Jesus forgives…you? Are you willing to bring them and the issue before pastors, and event he chruch, in an attempt to reconcile it?
Are you willing to face the pain, embarassment, struggle, in order that reconciliation can happen?
Is it time to shake the dust off our feet? Are we willing that our action will be a testimony, a witness against them, that would see them in Hell? Or can we trust in Chirst, and with Him, blaze a trail of the glory of the gospel, His light that redeems and reconciles and heals? That covers their sins, not with time, but with the blood of Christ that will cleanse them?
Can we work to bring them to the altar of Christ?
Tough questions this day……
Lord, Have Mercy!
Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 171-173). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on March 8, 2014, in Devotions and tagged Excommunicaiton, Jesus, Love of Christ, reconciliation, redemption, Shaking dust off feet, St Josemara Escriva. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.