"Simon says, 'Pat your head.'
We pat our heads.
Jesus says, 'Go therefore and make disciples…'
We memorize that verse."
I wonder just how true that is. Sometimes, in a community such as the one I live in, it's hard to see that this is truly the issue. That when someone nearby begins... "Simon says.." we poise our ears, straining to hear what the command is, so as to obey correctly. Our body posture changes as we prepare for anything - excitement and anticipation in our hearts. We are ready and will do our best to do what "Simon says" as quickly and correctly as we can.
Yet, when someone nearby begins with, "Jesus said..." our mind settles in for the reading/recitation of a book. We settle down, ready to listen to "the Holy and ancient scriptures." There is no action really needed and maybe, just maybe we'll be super "spiritual," decide to memorize the verse! What an amazing accomplishment.
I don't mean to demean the memorization of scriptures, in fact, I find it invaluable. However, if we stop at memorizing some words from a book - we are horribly misusing those Holy Scripts. Those words on the pages of the Bible - they are ALIVE. If we believe what God says to us through this Bible, that the words on the pages were divinely inspired and true, should not these scriptures inspire something in us?
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:1-2, 14 ESV)
The Word of God, the living, was the Son - was Jesus. So when we read the Word - we are reading Jesus. And we say that we believe that Jesus is still alive - having been killed on the cross, and then raising from the dead 3 days later. If, He is indeed alive as we say, do we truly know Him today? Or do we leave His Word to be classified as "ancient Holy scripts"?
My heart is burdened with the sadness of the Jesus we seem to have confused for ourselves. While we read what He did and said thousands of years ago, we have made him to become a story character worthy of memory and praise. When, in fact, He is ALIVE, living and breathing, speaking and moving today. The same words he spoke to the disciples 2,000 years ago He speaks to us today. Now, it's not as if He has appeared to me everyday teling me what to do to the letter every day. BUT, He has written us all a letter, found in the Word/the Bible, that clearly communicates what "Jesus says..." Do we act on those instructions? Do we position ourselves with anticipation of the instructions to come - ready to act and excited to participate? Do we even know what He is telling us to do?
With this, I leave you to think upon these things. Allow yourself to ask Jesus what His will is for you today. Does He want you to speak encouragement over someone, maybe open your home to a person/family in need? Or would He simply want you to love Him today? Perhaps today He'd just love it if you'd position yourself to hear His voice, to anticipate His directions...