The Word of the Lord-A Vision to Son-of-a-monkey-wrench

Cartoon rendering of author Eugene C. Scott

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.

TODAY’S READING (click here to view today’s reading online)

Ezekiel 7:1-9:11

Hebrews 5:1-14

Psalm 105:1-15

Proverbs 26:28

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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.

  1. Which passage spoke most to you?
  2. What did the four have in common?

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Eugene co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, CO and writes a blog eugenesgodsightings.blogspot.com

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “The Word of the Lord-A Vision to Son-of-a-monkey-wrench

  1. elna

    1 Pet 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
    Everyone, who is a believer, must know that they are priests. It is so serious a calling that we all must study God’s word…and that is there that the problem lies. Not one of the churches in your ‘vision’ spend time with God’s word. They/we do not know the ‘elementary truths of God’s word’

    • elna

      why did God grab Ezekiel by the hair??!

    • Elna:

      Because Jesus fulfilled the priesthood, each of us can come boldly before the throne of grace and become priests–vessels of God’s grace to others. Each of us has a job to do. Notice, also though, that we are a people, not a bunch of individuals running amok. We have individual relationships with God and individual responsibilities but we also belong to a called out community: the church.

      Good catch on the absence of the Bible in those churches. I did not intend that but it is an apt description of some of us. I did, however, place Bibles in the pockets of the individuals outside the church building as a symbol that many of us are doing Christian things (reading the Bible) but not committing to a biblical community.

      Why did God lift Ezekiel by the hair? Not sure. I know that God places hot coals in Isaiah’s mouth as a symbol of a burning purity of God’s Word and Isaiah’s God-given ability to speak.

      If this has similar symbolism, it is obscure. My first and flippant response is: Because God is not nice. Or as CS Lewis portrays God in his Chronicles of Narnia: Safe, Aslan is not safe. But he is good. Turns out that may not be far off the mark.

      Some Jewish (and Messianic) scholars call this, “The Physical, Violent Hand of Hashem.” Hashem means “eternal” or “self-existent” and is said, “The Name.” It stands for God’s names that embody a certain aspect of his character. In this case it may represent the truth that God can be more than Spirit and interact with us in physical ways. And that that interaction may not be comfortable or what we expected. It may also show the fierce power and holiness of God revealing to the Jews (and us) he cares about what happens in the physical world, the temple and our churches.

      What does it say about us, however, that when God does strange things like this (how much more strange is it and “not nice” when he tells Isaiah to go naked and for Hosea to marry Gomer and for Jesus to redeem us by being crucified) that we object and are reppled? To be sure, God’s ways are not our ways.

  2. elna

    strange how one can read a verse and then suddenly a question springs to mind :)) . A lot of scholars say that it is greek influence that makes us believe that the life on earth is not important but only the eternal life. The jewish scholars are in opposition to that, saying that this life – that God gave – is important. so important that God intervenes in it, even sending his son to live and die this life.
    A book, the Bible, is only of worth to a person if you open it and read it. The Bible seems to be classified as classical reading- a book everyone quotes but nobody reads, like War and peace, etc.

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