Mark 3: 20-35 offers a lot to ponder seriously. Jesus entered a house and a crowd followed. It was so crowded that the Disciples were not able to eat. The crowd got everyone shook up. People wanted Jesus to heal them and cast out demons. His family came to get Him out of there. They accused Him of being out of His mind. Next the Teachers of the Law said that He was possessed by Beelzebul.
In response to these accusations Jesus said,” How can Satan drive out Satan? If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” That makes sense but then Jesus drops the BOMB! Verse 28 says, “ Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, they are guilty of an eternal sin.” So what is this horrific sin anyway? The blasphemy was people accusing Jesus of being demon possessed instead of being full of the Holy Spirit. Problem is we are not off the hook today. Today’s unpardonable sin is continued disbelief. It is rejection of the Holy Spirit’s prompts to trust Jesus is the crux of the situation (got questions.org .) HELP ME HOLY SPIRIT, HELP ME TO CATCH MY BREATH! I am going to leave this one right here. I think we all need to take some prayer and thought time with this one. Jesus was not guilty of what people were accusing Him of.
Let’s fast forward to today. We see many people pointing fingers at present day Christians. Sometimes we do a really good job of being Christ Like and full of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give shelter to the homeless etc. sometimes we distort Jesus’ message to suit ourselves. RED FLAG!
Mahatma Gandi once said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so are so unlike your Christ.” Sadly sometimes this is true. So maybe we have to work harder to be Christ Like more than being Christian? I have heard this song on the radio. It is by Hozier and it is called,” Take me to church.” At first the song offended me. I am not easily offended. After listening a couple of times it made me think that sometimes we do a lousy job of being Christ Like, a lousy job of being the church we are called to be. The chorus of the song says, “ Take me to church, I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies. I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife. Offer me that deathless death. Good God, let me give you my life.” HELP ME HOLY SPIRIT, HELP ME CATCH MY BREATH!
Again I’m going to leave this one right here. Hopefully we’ll take time to prayerfully contemplate this one also. Sorry to drop the bomb on us, but maybe we need to reimagine how we are to be church to a hurting world? Maybe we are to reimagine how to love God and love our neighbor? AMEN!
-Father Ed Murphy, Shared Episcopal Ministry