The Only Right That Matters
The Only Right that Really Matters
† I.H.S. †
I pray for you my friends that you would grow to realize even deeper this truth. Because Jesus was born, lived, died and rose from the dead, you are the children of God!
It seems we are always talking about our rights. In the Constitution, it talks about inalienable rights, and its first ten amendments were the Bill of rights. People talk about human rights; there have been numerous civil rights movements. We talk about water rights, mineral rights, the right to assemble, the right to education, the right to medical care, the right to arm bears, o wait, bear arms. Theologians and philosophers talk about the right to basic human dignity. Heck, I even remember one old rock song from 30 years ago that encouraged us to fight for the right…to party! (yeah 30 years ago!)
But what if all but one right were taken away.
What if every right people claimed and demanded were stripped of them, but they could choose one….
I would hope we take the one that we heard a moment ago in the gospel.
It is the only right that really matters.
And to receive it, to trust that we have that right, means that all other rights are diminished, that all other rights are revealed to be something less. They become like idols of wood or stone; that lose their luster and their importance.
Rights, or Self-idolatry?
While I am one who often speaks about making sure others are treated well, I think that we often make what we demand the right to, into an idol, a God that serves us. We can’t think of life without that “right”, and we will fight to protect that right.
I’ve even heard of some people who indicate they will fight for that right, even to the point of death.
I am not talking about trying to serve others, and ensure they have what most would consider basic things in their life. I am talking about when those things or things not so basic or necessary become idols, where we think life must have them, or it isn’t really living.
It is then we have taken something good and turned it into something bad. It is like the Israelites, taking Gideon’s armor and worshipping it, rather than the God who directed Gideon. Or the staff with the snake, that God had Moses fashion, to heal people of the snake bites they received when they were unfaithful. We do it to, when we take the things that remind us of Jesus, from buildings to people, from crosses to music, and say that’s what matters.
Or even when we take a day like Christmas, and make it more about the presents and food than about the Lord, who came to us.
The Lord, who laid aside his rights as God, to come and live among us, to serve, even to the point of death, and that death on a cross.
So what right do we cling to? What right is the one that makes the difference in our lives?
12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
You have been given the right to be a child of God. His son, His daughter. The child whom He loves.
So has everyone else on the planet. Everyone in history,
This is why we are here.
It is not just for the brunch; it is not because of the music, or my eloquence. It’s not because of tradition, or because someone forced you to wake up and be here. (although they might have!)
It is because God drew you here, to remind you of the right He gave you.
That He purchased for you by sending Jesus here, to be born and laid in a feeding trough, to wander around as an itinerant prophet without a home, to be mocked and brutally beaten and hung on a tree to bear every curse your sin earned.
So you would have the right to be a child of God.
To share in His love, His mercy, His glory, His peace……