As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another
Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi where are you staying?”
“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.
“Pliny the Elder once said that the Romans, when they couldn’t make a building beautiful, made it big. The practice continues to be popular: If we can’t do it well, we make it larger. We add dollars to our income, rooms to our houses, activities to our schedules, appointments to our calendars. And the quality of life diminishes with each addition.” -Eugene Peterson, This Hallelujah Banquet
Sehnschut – (n.) “the inconsolable longing in the human heart for we know not what”; a yearning for a far, familiar, non-earthly land one can identify as one’s home.
King Ahab – Sadclown
1 Kings 21:1-7
Some time later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. The vineyard was in Jezreel, close to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth.”
But Naboth replied, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my ancestors.”
So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat.
His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, “Why are you so sullen? Why won’t you eat?”
He answered her, “Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, ‘Sell me your vineyard; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’”
Jezebel his wife said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him…While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
I don’t think you Americans understand what Christianity is all about. Back in the 1960s you started to use the word ‘commitment’ to describe your relationship with Christ. However, any time a word comes into usage, another word goes into disuse.” He continued, “Until the 1960s, you Americans talked about ‘surrender’ to Christ. Surrender means giving up control, turning over all to the Master, Jesus. By changing to the word ‘commitment,’ your relationship with Christ has become something you do; therefore you are able to keep control. Surrender means giving up all rights to oneself. You Americans don’t like to do that, so instead you make a commitment.”
There are two ways to go. The first is to get bogged down by insisting you know what’s best, trying to control the situation, exerting your will, trying to get your own way, and coming out on top. Filled with small ambitions, petty grievances, and easily hurt feelings, this is the way of the committed man. The other way is to deny yourself, come humbly to the foot of the cross, give Jesus your life daily, fully consider the gravity of your times, and fit into the larger perspective of what God is doing in the world. Filled with humble gratitude, this is the way of the surrendered man…The great irony of surrender is that it leads not to defeat but to victory.