These Things Ought Not to Be So

From Pastor Todd’s email . . .

Texas should not beat Oklahoma or Oklahoma State. Cocanut should not be in chocolate cakes. Nuts should not be in chocolate cookies. A Chevy should never be towed by a Ford. There are some things that should not be.

We all tend to choose what makes our own personal list of what ought not be. Even more, any group of Christians may get together and decide for themselves what ought not to be. James writes to Christians in the first century and draws the conclusion, “these things ought not to be so.” James had more weightier matters on his mind that the silly list with which I started in this column.

Instead, James concludes that a human mouth should not contain both blessing and cursing of others. It is the in/famous passage on the tongue. Maybe you recall some of the analogies for the tongue – bits and rudders. While James wants readers and hearers to grasp how small things matter, he also sounds much like Jesus. “It is not what goes into a person that makes he or she unclean, but what comes out of a person.” Once again, I believe James is radicalzing Jesus – for the good!

We are left with the need to consider how is it that we may live where these thigns are not – rather than ought not to be? If we take in the Mark 8 passage, we may locate the sort of follower that does not work to manage their tongue but finds it transformed by a commitment to self-denial. Think about it. When a peson sets out to use their tongue – mouth – to announce a curse, utter a harsh word, speak down about another human being he or she is not denying self, but preserving self.

How would our relationships and conversations appear if our aim was to follow the way of Jesus and oppose any self-centered-ness? How would this be Good news? How would it fuflill the promise of God to bless the world through people given to His way?

Jesus invites people into his life and his way. He takes what is and points to the new way of the Kingdom of God.  Come see what this journey is all about!

One way to think about the mission of Jesus - He calls into question the way things are and points to the way things may be in the Kingdom of God. 

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