Sunday, January 24, 2016


The Word for today:
Isaiah 60
mark this: Isaiah 60:1-2 --
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the LORD will arise upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
I was not blessed with what is referred to as a "godly heritage;" a love for the Bible was not handed down to me from my parents. They dutifully went each Sunday to a large church. Stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down.  Then out the door.  "See ya  next week, when we'll do this all again."  Glory.
And talk about comic obfuscation. My kids have a hard time believing this, but they didn't speak English in that church. They spoke--I kid you not--a language that no one on earth spoke in his daily life.
And talk about tragic darkness. No one was to individually open his Bible. The Light of the world was not to be directly encountered. It had to pass through the prism of the priestly caste.  At home we had a Bible -- on the mantel in the living room between two heavy bookends next to a chiming clock.  Although they respected it enough to purchase it and provide a prominent place for it (physically) in our home, I do not recall either of my parents ever looking inside it.
And I can't blame them, when their church seemed (from a teenager's point of view) to go out of its way to put a bushel over the Light (1).
So now I'm protesting.
I have many spiritual heroes, unsung people whose names you would not know.  But I have two heroes whose names are recognized. I spoke of one--J. Vernon McGee, the greatest Bible teacher that ever was--in this space on January 6.  (Just google "Thru the Bible" and you'll find him.)
My other hero is the man who, next to Jesus, was Christendom's greatest protester! He was a troubled, anguished monk who insisted that the Light of the world, the Word of God, be made directly accessible to every person--no intervening priests or prisms to "filter" the light. He even--gasp--had the brazen audacity to translate the Bible out of Gobbledygook and into German (his native language) so some poor 14-year-old in Wittenberg or Bavaria could read it.
When you go to your "Protestant" church today, remember that you're a Protestant because you've got something to protest!  If your version of a priest (you might call him parson, pastor, or vicar) isn't bringing the real Biblical Jesus--the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth-- then protest!  Take the bushel off the Lamp and whip it out the window.
And if you go to the Catholic side of the aisle, don't leave that place.  Stay there and protest!   They took Martin Luther's suggestion, eventually, and dumped Gobbledygook, but there are still encrusted traditions obfuscating the clear and complete Jesus.   Protest!  Throw the bushel through the stained glass window.
If you do, I will add you to my list of heroes!  You'll be right up there with J. Vernon and Martin.  And I will visit you in jail!
(1) see Matthew 5:14; cf. John 8:12

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