I come from a musical family. When I was a kid, I did my homework while listening to my mom teach piano lessons in the back of our house. I majored in music education in college and learned the technical ins-and-outs of theory and pedagogy. I appreciate my musical education and the doors it has opened for me in life and in ministry. But I recognize my limits. I’m way too focused on what’s written on the page in front of me. I find improv hard. I’m envious of musicians who can play by ear and wear their hearts on their sleeves. Since I learned music the technical way, I admire the technique of beautiful music. But letting go of that rigid scientific framework and just making art is difficult for me. Sometimes I feel like I’m missing the crucial point.
The Jews standing in the crowd before Jesus think they know their stuff. They have the Law, after all, and many of them are religiously devoted to it. So much so that the stiff framework of the rules inhibits their ability to know its Creator. They are so focused on being good religious adherents (and demanding that Jesus follow their religious codes) that they ironically miss the crucial point. They worship their religion and fail to recognize God in their midst.
In what ways does our society miss the point by worshiping the framework instead of the essence of it? Do we worship our country’s Constitution without considering those it was designed to protect and those who it leaves out? Do Christians worship the Bible instead of elevating Christ, the Living Word, and letting his life be the lens that helps us interpret Scripture? How do we grow to more fully experience the faith that Jesus wants to show us?
When have you felt that your faith needed to grow? What happened next?
Son of God, be the rightful lens through which I view myself, my faith, and our world. May your Spirit breathe life and beauty into the structures that define us. Amen.