Bread – Chosen

May 22, 2009

Readings for Thursday, May 22   
    from the Book of Common Prayer:
    Ezek. 1:28-3:3; Heb. 4:14-5:6; Luke 9:28-36
    Psalms 87, 90, 136

I am small and not naturally very athletically able.  Not only that, but I wear glasses.  Therefore, when the "popular kids" were choosing sides for their scratch football game, it was really important that I be chosen pretty high up in the ranks.  We were all chosen, ultimately, but it was terrible when you felt like you were the "Oh well" part of the last division of leftover people.  Unfortunately, I experienced being in the last round of the draft a lot.

But no matter when it was, it still felt good to be chosen.  It does feel good to be chosen, doesn’t it?

Our readings today talk about being chosen.  First, we are presented with the choosing of Ezekiel.  The Lord says to Ezekiel "Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you…I am sending you to the Israelites."  Ezek. 2:1-3.  In Hebrews, we are presented a lesson on priesthood — "Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed … No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God …" Heb. 5:1-4.  Third, Luke reports the calling of those disciples to witness the Transfiguration — "…He [Jesus] took Peter, John and James with Him and went up onto a mountain to pray."  Luke 9:28

Unlike our little game of football, however, in none of these cases did men do the choosing – it was God who chose, God who revealed, and God who enabled.  In Ezekiel, God says that He is the One sending Ezekiel to Israel.  Just so that Ezekiel would not think that he had any merit, when God told Ezekiel to stand up, it was not Ezekiel who stood but it was God who raised Ezekiel to his feet (Ezek. 2:2 — "As He spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet …").  In Hebrews, the writer points out that it was not even Jesus who chose Himself, but God, saying "So Christ also did not take upon Himself the glory of becoming a high priest.  But God said to Him, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’" Heb. 5:5  And, as we quoted previously in Luke, it was Christ who "took" Peter, John, and James to the Mount of Transfiguration.  In all three events, God revealed Himself.

There are other aspects of choosing revealed in these passages.  Note that God chooses individuals, one at a time.  He doesn’t say "you group" when it comes to being chosen.  Being chosen is something that happens one at a time.  Another observation is God’s choosing of people occurs over all periods of time.  Finally, one might note that each of these people is chosen into a different purpose or role – Ezekiel was chosen as prophet, Jesus as high priest, and the three in Luke as witnesses.

Now let us turn the focus away from abstract characters of history and toward us.  You (I) am chosen by God.  God chose us to be born, He chose us to survive our parents, He chose us to read this Bread, and He chose us to be with Him for eternity by sending His Son to die for us.  And when He asked us if we believed in Him, He chose us by having His Spirit stand us up so we could (and can) respond.

Obedience followed the choosing in each event reported in Scripture today.  Ezekiel obeyed God by eating the scroll.  Jesus obeyed God to death on the cross.  Peter, John and James obeyed Christ by going with Him up the mountain.

You are chosen, but what is your response?  Obedience or indifference?  Joy or neutrality?

Maybe you don’t want to be on the team, but as for me, I am very, very happy to have been chosen.  How about you?  What is your response?

Lord, help us to wisely answer the question, "Will you really lay down your life for Me?"  Lord, help us to love your Word, incarnate in Jesus Christ and written in Scripture, and to solely rely upon them as our source of information about how we should live.  Help us Lord to come to You, once having come to You to become closer to You, and to preach the Gospel to all people in all circumstances, in and out of season, as You have commanded.  Help us know that You are God and we are not.  Assist us Lord through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to be willing and obedient servants.  It is only through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ that we are empowered to even make this prayer.  And so we thank You and praise You!  Amen.


One Response to “Bread – Chosen”

  1. Kathy Kremer Says:

    I’m glad to have been chosen. John 15:16 says “You have not chosen me but I have chosen you so that you may bring forth much fruit.” But there’s the accompanying warning: If you do not bring forth fruit, the fruitless branches will be lopped off, thrown into the fire and burned.

    I also like what the Lord said to Ezekiel. (paraphrased) Your job is to speak the words I put in your mouth, whether the people listen or not. So results are not our problem, only the obedience to speak.

    Often we get discouraged when people do not respond to the word. We feel like we’re wasting our breath and our time. But we never know which time we speak that someone will actually hear what we are saying and turn his life around. So if God says to speak, speak up!

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