Messiah

18 Jun

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for 10 After Pentecost 21 August 2011

Messiah

Moses was born into a time and place of bondage.  So was Jesus.  I don’t think there would be much argument today if I said, “Now would be a good time for the Messiah to save us from our present bondage.”  Politicians want a political messiah to save them from themselves.  Financial gurus and economic wizards look at the collapse of the world economies and cries of panic go out that we need a money messiah to save us from ourselves.  We watch helplessly as portions of entire continents get assaulted by freakish weather.  Climatologists long for a meteorological messiah.  We see heart-wrenching stories of death by starvation in Somalia, parts of Africa, and around the world where they are suffering from drought, famine, and plague.  We want a merciful messiah to save us from more disaster.  Piled on the natural disasters are the wars and terror utterly destroying entire nations leaving everyone longing for some good fairy messiah to wave the magic wand and make it all stop, so we can play nicely.  Or better yet to rapture the “good guys” out from the “bad guys.”  Now add to the mix heavy expectations and breathe hard.  Christians and Jews alike have been expecting the return of the Messiah for millennia.  That is one big global anvil of crushing bondage! 

But Peter “got it” when he said to Jesus: “You are the Messiah, Son of the Living God.” (Mt 16:16)

God Himself revealed this to Peter, not some other person. (Mt 16:17)  This is key because of Satan’s use of projection.  As long as understanding comes within from God Himself, then the psychological and spiritual mechanism of projection does not have a stronghold.  Projection arcs from person to person.  It works like movie projection.  And there’s no comfortable human way to confront it or really talk about it head on.  Projection is like watching two tired kids standing face to face and crying as they point fingers at each other saying, “You’re a cry-baby!”  And the other cries back, “Nah-uh! You are!”  In this scenario, denial is also present, but energetically what is occurring is one kid projecting a reflection of himself on to the other, and the other is doing the same thing back.  The two energies emoting from both sides collide like two naked and hairy beer-bellies in a bar.  It’s not pretty.  We don’t know what to do.  We need the key-ring of the kingdom [attentive listening] ready in hand [ear] to await God’s instructions. 

The keys of the kingdom of heaven, Honesty, really do bind or loose, close or open, lock or unlock the Truth.  (ref Mt 16:19, Rev 3:8, John 8:31-32)  Discernment is necessary to know when, how, and where to use honesty.  In this case with these energies of Projection (as well as with Denial), confrontational honesty would only make things worse.  If Honesty faced head on into the cry-baby battle, it would just feed the battle, and the person contributing the truth would then be drawn into the energetic war.  Then there would be three cry-babies.  The only thing one can do is like what Christ told His disciples to do and to tell no one. (Mt 16:20)  “Saying nothing” does not mean “doing nothing.”  Prayer is the weapon to defeat it.  We can stand in the Truth in honesty without directly confronting the presence of Projection and Denial, because the Holy Spirit has to work honesty into the matrix of the dynamic at play in the hearts of others and ourselves.  Sometimes we can plant the seed of recognition of the Truth of the presence of Projection and Denial through poetry, art, music, comedy, humor, or some creative expression.  Other times instruction and education can help pull the weeds of Projection and Denial out of a person, organization, or nation.  But only God can surgically remove it and heal the pain and shame of its presence.  Once the Holy Spirit removes it, then the Truth brings healing and freedom. 

Really all we can do is keep our eyes on Christ.  Christ is the Messiah to save us from ourselves.  He is the One Who fights the “Beast of the Sea” of our own projections making waves. (ref Rev 13:1-10) 

“Who is like the beast?  Who can make war against him?”  (Rev 13:4) 

Christ is the One Who fights the “Beast of the Earth” who rises out of our denial, as we project our own denial six hundred and sixty-six times, holding it like a mirror, with the intention to deflect our own pain caused by our own shortcomings. (ref Rev 13:11-18)  When our spiritual eyes are open and mercy and grace have softened and melted the broken ego mirror shards through forgiveness, then what is left is to reflect Christ’s Light.  This is a message not only to the Seven Churches, but to the whole world as well.

Now what do we do?  Like Paul said, we are all given gifts to share through our lives as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1): this means being our authentic, noble Selves.  No one person has the whole picture, but each person has a thread or two to contribute to God’s living tapestry where Christ shines in the center of the picture.  What is left for us to do is to offer the “threads” to God and share them through the power and promptings of the Holy Spirit.  Through each person sharing his/her gifts we, collectively, can be bearers of peace and healing to this broken world which has been shattered by arrogance, mistrust, freakish weather, starvation and death.  God has already provided the means to bring about this healing.  We cannot “fix” it by glaring and staring at it front on, or screaming at the wounds and yelling, “Cry-baby!” But our world can begin healing by sharing the mercies God has shared with us.  Through the process of sharing we must abide in the Presence of God. 

We carry His Presence in our beings and the torch of His Light shines through our words reflecting our minds; it shines through our hands and posture reflecting our behaviors through our bodies; it shines through our creativity reflecting our spirits.  Reflecting Christ as we abide in Him must be the drive behind our purpose.  If the focus of our purpose drives us anywhere else, or on to anyone else, then the cause or person, or even concept can become the idol.  The purpose driven life must keep Christ’s very Presence as the purpose, otherwise even the concept of Messiah can become an idol, and we must have no other gods besides God.  Projection itself can then become an idol if our desire is to serve the object or attitude being projected.  That includes truth.  If serving our own god of truth drives us to serve it rather than abiding in Christ’s Presence and serving Him, then we are out of alignment in body, mind, and spirit.  The Messiah of the Living God (Mt 16:16) is our sanctuary in Whom we abide, and the Holy Spirit leads us in how, where, when, and with whom to share the journey.  If there’s any doubt, just ask Him.  He’ll answer.  Then He’ll likely tell you not to say anything because the Holy Spirit has to work the Truth within us.

 

10 After Pentecost               21 August 2011                                Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20

Exodus 1:8-2:10
1:8 Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

1:9 He said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we.

1:10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”

1:11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor. They built supply cities, Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh.

1:12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.

1:13 The Egyptians became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites,

1:14 and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field labor. They were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them.

1:15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,

1:16 “When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live.”

1:17 But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live.

1:18 So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and allowed the boys to live?”

1:19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”

1:20 So God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and became very strong.

1:21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.

1:22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.”

2:1 Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman.

2:2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months.

2:3 When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river.

2:4 His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.

2:5 The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it.

2:6 When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him, “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said.

2:7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?”

2:8 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Yes.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother.

2:9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed it.

2:10 When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, “because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

Psalm 124
124:1 If it had not been the LORD who was on our side — let Israel now say —

124:2 if it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when our enemies attacked us,

124:3 then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us;

124:4 then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us;

124:5 then over us would have gone the raging waters.

124:6 Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth.

124:7 We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped.

124:8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

Isaiah 51:1-6
51:1 Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the LORD. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.

51:2 Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many.

51:3 For the LORD will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.

51:4 Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me, my nation; for a teaching will go out from me, and my justice for a light to the peoples.

51:5 I will bring near my deliverance swiftly, my salvation has gone out and my arms will rule the peoples; the coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope.

51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and those who live on it will die like gnats; but my salvation will be forever, and my deliverance will never be ended.

Psalm 138
138:1 I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;

138:2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.

138:3 On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.

138:4 All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O LORD, for they have heard the words of your mouth.

138:5 They shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD.

138:6 For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away.

138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.

138:8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Romans 12:1-8
12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God–what is good and acceptable and perfect.

12:3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

12:4 For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function,

12:5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.

12:6 We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith;

12:7 ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching;

12:8 the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

Matthew 16:13-20
16:13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

16:14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

16:15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

16:17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.

16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

16:20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

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