Going Deeper 06.30.2021

The first reading for Pentecost 6... Ezekiel 2:1-5
He said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants are impudent and stubborn. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord God.” Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.

Desperate times call for desperate messages.  

These words from the prophet Ezekiel, who addressed the people of Judah around the time of the destruction of the temple and walls of Jerusalem by the Babylonians-- who had already taken many of the people into captivity, and who would execute the last of the potential kings from the line of David-- are actually some of his most straight forward expressions.  The lack of repentance meant that the times were desperate indeed.

Repentance has always been a key component of the relationship between people and God... at least ever since the fall.  God, self-described as being merciful and gracious and full of steadfast love, desires a restored relationship with His children.  In the Old Testament God went to great lengths to call His wandering children to return to Him in repentance, so that they might be restored.  God's desire was for these descendants of Abraham to remember what God had done for them and to respond by living lives of gratitude-and-love-fueled obedience so that they might be a light to draw other nations to God.  They failed miserably.

God has always left it up to His children to either "hear or refuse to hear" His calls to repent and return, or to continue to rebel against God and His calling to live according to His good and gracious will.  That free will is both a gift and a curse, depending on what we do with it.  Wisdom leads us to seek after God, to repent and return to Him in order to be restored.  God continues to call the "impudent and stubborn."  We do well, individually and collectively, to listen.

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"