The word of the Lord came to me (or maybe it was the spicy pizza I had for dinner).
“Son-of-a-monkey-wrench,” the Lord said (He often calls me that. I’m not sure why).
“Here am I, Lord,” I muttered.
“Open your eyes and I will show you a vision you are to write for your Daily Bible Conversation Blog,” the Lord boomed.
I opened my eyes and raised my head off the pillow. I had read Ezekiel before going to bed and this felt terrifyingly familiar.
“But, Lord,” I argued (usually not a good idea). “I already know what I’m going to write.”
“Behold,” said the Lord as he grabbed me by the hair and lifted me into the stars.
Eugene C. Scott joins Mike in writing A Daily Bible Conversation twice a week.
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Hebrews 5:1-14: The unknown author of Hebrews makes a complicated and brilliant argument about Christ as high priest who alone can intercede between us and a holy God. He tells us this priesthood is in the order of Melchizedek. This must have been a reference his readers understood. Melchizedek is considered a prefigure of Christ (Hebrews 7:3) because Genesis 14:18-20 does not mention his genealogy. Many scholars, then and now, built theological arguments on what a passage does not say as much as what it does. This seems to be the case here. It speaks to a timelessness and holiness human priests cannot claim.
These are the kinds of passages that often frustrate people and their attempts to study the Bible. But don’t be discouraged. The clear foundational truths we need to love God and live our lives are far more plentiful than Melchizedek-type passages. Nevertheless, the author calls us to stop subsisting on spiritual milk and to carve up some meaty theology, to dive into the deep things of God.
THE WORD MADE FRESH
The Lord hauled me through the night sky. Below me a light shone on all manner of buildings: tall steepled buildings with stained glass, white, sharp roofed ones too, squat functional edifices, massive sprawling complexes, and tiny leaning buildings marched all in lines. Each different except they all had a cross on the roof stabbing into the sky.
“My church,” the Lord whispered.
Suddenly we swooped down and a tall steepled building rose before us. It had four sides and wide doors, locked with chains through the ornate handles, on each side. “Members Please Enter Through Other Door” a sign read on each door.
“She is fearful,” whispered the Lord. “She believes she must stay safe within her walls.”
Further on, upon a hill, stood a structure bristling with spires, boasting ornate crosses, and faced with glorious stained glass, telling the great story. It was beauty and intricacy beyond imagination, earth touching heaven. Reaching the cathedral, wishing to see the beauty of the interior, I sought to enter but God breathed a strong wind against me.
“This is not My church,” God said.
“Lord, how can that be?” I asked, eyeing the magnificent structure.
He smiled. “It is beautiful, but is made of stone, glass, and wood and is held together by mortar, nails, and steel. My church is grander still. Made of flesh and blood and gathered and knit together by the Spirit of my Son, she is My only bride.”
I slumped against the marble wall, disappointed. God pulled me on.
I laughed, though, as we entered the next church. Here was flesh and blood. Children. Balls, games, toys, and puzzles were scattered across the floor.
What fun, I thought. Then I gaped. Near the altar two boys and two girls sat in a circle cross-legged passing sticks of lit dynamite from one to the other. I rushed over. Meanwhile they laughed and tossed the dangerous package across the circle. I looked to the Lord.
“My church plays at her relationship with Me. She has forgotten how mighty and dangerous is the power of My love,” He said weeping.
A fierce wind rushed through the many open doors and windows of the next edifice. Its pews, rooms, and hallways were empty and barren. Outside busy individuals rushed by. Not one greeted another. Bibles bulged in their pockets and crosses dangled from their necks.
“Each of them have forgotten the other,” God gasped. “They no longer know they were called to live, to serve, to worship together.”
Next we flowed through the open doors of a huge building. As far my eyes could see, sat people in recliners each with a TV screen. A sad blue light washed over each. Some laughed, some cried, some slept, some fidgeted, none looked from side to side.
The Lord spoke, “She thinks I Am just another thing to be consumed and they are easily entertained.”
Our final visit was strangest of all. Inside a long narrow structure sat lines of baby highchairs. Each chair held a cherub-like person with a colorful bib around his neck.
“Feed me! Feed me! Feed me!” each cried to a man in a robe who ran from highchair to highchair spooning food into their open mouths. But the food he provided only made them cry out the more. Soon the man slumped on the altar and the tumult increased.
“They refuse to grow up and eat solid food. They expect My servants to carry them and will not stand on their own faith,” the Lord complained. “Going from place to place, they search for faster and easier food.”
Suddenly we were back in my room.
“My people,” said God in a hushed voice, “have forgotten too much.”
I wiped tears from my face. “What about my church, Lord?” I stammered.
The Lord laughed a great thundering, rolling sound. “Before the foundations of the earth, I created her, through time immemorial, I have cared for her, on the cross, I redeemed her, with My gifts, I commission her, into eternity I call her. Your church, Son-of-a-monkey-wrench? Your church?”
Silence stretched across the night sky.
- Which passage spoke most to you?
- What did the four have in common?
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