El Estudiante de Salamanca
Gracias porque tu lo has hecho tan perfecto todo. I think that one of the things that God does, if he wants to use us mightily, first of all he shows us how unworthy we are of being used of him. Because I think that the natural inclination of human beings is to sort of take an ego trip, when God uses us somehow to shed some light in the world, we can become a little bit proud. So, it leads to understand, it takes the burden away.
You know, Jesus is the one that does that in me and then I also recognize that I am nobody really, I do not have a right. And I think that that is so important, so that kind of humility is so important, because I think it is really what shuts down the capacity of the world to ultimately accuse us of pride or anything like that. Talking a little bit about that idea of God breaking us before using us, like the Apostle Paul for example. So, here again, you see that whole thing of God making the Apostle Paul aware.
You know, I have blessed you with great revelation.
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And I think we need to see the complexity, we need to keep all these different things in tension in order to understand that deep complexity of scripture. Because I think when sometimes we try to do, is we try to tear these things and then we turn this call to produce good deeds, into a source of sterility, of burden, of struggle and of agony and we lose the fact that God has provided for all that in his scripture. I mean, for our brokenness, for our sinfulness and yet for that call to holiness as well.
And I think, when we learn that, when we learn to keep these forces in tension I think, interestingly enough, instead of making us more anxious, I think it releases us, to live holy lives without have to be neurotically, compulsively forced to lead that good life that God calls us to.
So he had to, finally, God led him through the study of the word, through that idea of grace. And when he found grace, then interestingly enough he was released to give light and what a light he gave. He took the darkness of the Middle Ages and of dead religion, he confronted it and in his desire to announce grace, the grace of God, the release of God he changed the course of human history and certainly of Christianity.
When we have given off all the light that we can, we still have not done all that we could do. We give the light of Jesus. It is he who gives it. Also, I think, we do not attract attention to ourselves, we always point to the Lord. We do good works out of our brokenness and we acknowledge of the world that there is no good in us and that we are simply moving on borrowed energy, borrowed power from the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, when we can be the light even as he himself, as Jesus himself, is being the light. Jesus always spoke in absolute terms. He could have said, you are a light in the world, or you are light in the world. In a pluralistic world that we live in, where there are so many different religions in the religious market, Christian make this bold claim that we are the only source of true light, or the only true source of light. And I think we have been lead many times in our culture kind of abandon that idea. Again, you hear that sort of one of the pet peeves that I have in my life, that I see so much of Christianity in this modern culture that we live in.
And I think the world needs to know that we have something unique, something powerful, something that nobody else can bring. And I say, we can say it nicely and humbly but we need to say it. When Jesus says, you are the light of the world he is saying, the world lives in darkness and time and time again you see that in scripture.
The church is the hope of the world. I think that the church of this time needs to have its self esteem built up a lot. We have something that is unique and we should wear it proudly. That the declaration that you are the light of the world was simply a preface to something that he wants to drive to us. What are we going to do with that knowledge?
If we accept that we are the light of the world, the hope of the world, the source of truth of the world, how then shall we live? What behavioral consequence of that have? And he puts in the form of a couple of affirmations. He says, a city on a hill cannot be hidden.
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I was sharing with the Latino congregation the other day about a trip that I took many, many years ago as a student to Mexico with a bunch of guys, and we were going to Acapulco and we got lost somewhere. But finally we got it together and surely enough in the distance there we saw the lights of Acapulco. And what a welcome sight that was. You know, we knew that we were safe, that we were going to get there, we were going to get to a hotel and we were going to be able to sleep that night and it was going to be all right.
The other memory that I have in that sense is a Jerusalem and I think maybe Jesus was thinking of Jerusalem when he said a city on a hill. The stones of the…. The particular building materials of the city of Jerusalem, very beautiful. The Bible speaks of the sound of ascent that the pilgrims coming from all parts of the world to Jerusalem to worship during the High Holidays, would sing as they saw beautiful Jerusalem afar and they were walking towards and they would start singing and reciting psalms and prayers and the joy that finally they were going to come to the holy city again and be able to be there.
So Jesus is saying, when something as large as city is placed on a hill, you cannot hide it. He told Nicademus, he says, just as the serpent of bronze was lifted in order that the Israelites upon seeing it would be healed. Do you remember the story of the serpents of fire that bit Israelites because of their sinfulness in the desert?
But anyway, he says, as the bronze serpent was raised up, so that those who would see it would be healed, in that same way, must the Son of man be raised up so that all who see him, all who look to him, all who believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life. Take a look at him.. But this idea of lifting up a city on a hill cannot be hidden.
He says, number one, a city on a hill, a city that is displayed on high cannot be hidden. Another silly thing to do. Where is the light in this place? Above our heads. Because it needs to be high enough to shed life. It is in the very nature of the gospel. It is good news and the idea of news means that it has to be in shared. Is that correct? I mean, is that a logical thing right there. So, the gospel is to be announced. In the same way, there it is, in the same way, let your light shine before men. As a community, what do we exist for here in the ciudad de Boston? Do we exist just to come in here like this and to be in a nice comfortable place, safe, where we can raise our hands, and I can speak really boldly and nobody is going to bother me because we all believe the same thing.
But whether it is before or after, in the middle there is something that takes place which is the announcement, the proclaiming of the gospel. You know, that is our reason for being. If we are light then we have to put ourselves in positions where we can shed light.
We live for that. You know, how easy it is to put that aside and to do all kinds of other things, but somehow Jesus says, your primary, your absolutely first call is to announce the gospel to proclaim Jesus. But, you know, the number of people who really shed light is very few. If Christianity is understood, if in each church we made that bold assertion and we kind of pushed that issue a little bit more, we need to make ourselves uncomfortable about that fact. The very nature of who we are demands that we be active believers, that we be active announcers of Jesus Christ.
I think if more people would internalize that identity that we have, all of a sudden in the marketplace, in academia, in the arts, in government, in high schools, in the medical facilities, in the social service agencies. I mean, do you know how many Christian teachers there are in the ciudad de Boston? Our Latino church has a number, a good number of teachers and social workers, for example. So, for the time being we have to be subtle at times and sensitive, but I admire the fact that this woman is not content with simply living the status quo and being muscled by the prevailing culture into acquiescence and into submission.
I got to make sure that she knows that I am listening to her. No, she says, you have to attack this systemically. How can I bring in my knowledge …. I mean, how can we, in our various spheres, do similar things?
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I can do all kinds of other things but I have been rescued from the darkness in order that I might announce the merits of he who called me from the darkness into his wonderful light. We are a nation of priests, priestesses and kings and of people who have been…. We need to have that agony, we need to have that drivers.
If I want to do it, if I want the Lord to prevail, he will. You know how that happens? Women supposedly sometimes when they get tense, they want to have a baby and they get so tense many times that they cannot have a baby and sometimes when women adopt, you know what happens many times?
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