Morning Musing: Zechariah 12:2-3

“Look, I will make Jerusalem a cup that causes staggering for the peoples who surround the city. The siege against Jerusalem will also involve Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who try to lift it will injure themselves severely when all the nations of the earth gather against her.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

I want you to imagine something for me for a minute. Imagine that you are part of a people who have known persecution. No, that doesn’t mean you haven’t been able to get a good parking spot at the mall in ages. It means that you have been regularly and intentionally made the victim of injustice and prejudice for a long period of time. Victimhood is part of your psyche in a way people who don’t think through a lens of persecution can’t understand. It was taught to you by your parents—even if unintentionally—and you have taught it to your own children because your people are victims so often that you simply assume you’ll be a victim at some point even if it hasn’t happened yet. Got it in your mind? Depending on the color of your skin or the country in which you were born that may not take much work to imagine. Now, here’s my question: What is it that you want? Zechariah here gives us one answer.

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Differences of Opinion

Something good is on the horizon. After nearly four months apart, we are finally going to be able to get back together for live, in-person worship services starting July 5. Having been gone so long, though, and having been so profoundly changed by what we have experienced–even in ways we don’t fully understand–we need to get ready for what’s to come in some equally profound ways. This week and next we are having a conversation about what we need to know and what we will be doing to make our regathering both satisfying and sustainable. Thanks for tuning in here for part 1.

Differences of Opinion

I want you to imagine something with me this morning. This may stretch your imaginative capacities a bit, so do the best you can. I want you to imagine a church. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Now, imagine—and here’s where things may get tough—that this church is dealing with some internal conflict about something that from the outside looking in seems trivial to most passersby. Take a breather for a minute if you need it, I know that was pretty challenging.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 11:16

“I am about to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are perishing, and he will not seek the lost or heal the broken. He will not sustain the healthy, but he will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hooves.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

History matters. An adage that has become a cliché over time is if we do not study history, then we are doomed to repeat it. The idea is that if we do not make ourselves conspicuously aware of the mistakes we have made in the past, then we are likely to make the same ones again when given the chance. That may be a cliché, but it’s still true. This kind of thing is what God seems to have in mind here.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 11:6

“Indeed, I will no longer have compassion on the inhabitants of the land” — this is the Lord’s declaration. “Instead, I will turn everyone over to his neighbor and his king. They will devastate the land, and I will not rescue it from their hand.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

We tend to think about God’s judgment in very active terms. It is something that He does to those who are deserving. When He is going to punish sins, He does it. And, this is a hard thing to think about God. No one wants to imagine a God who is good actively doing things to hurt people. But what if there was another way to think about it? Would you be interested?

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Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 10:11

“The Lord will pass through the sea of distress and strike the waves of the sea; all the depths of the Nile will dry up. The pride of Assyria will be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt will come to an end.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

History is linear. It is unidirectional. It is going somewhere. We may not be able to see where from any single point along the way, but yesterday was not the day before and the day before that was different still. This wasn’t always thought to be the case. For a time it was fashionable science to hold that the universe was cyclical–it had been expanding and contracting in an endless cycle since eternity past and would continue like this on into eternity future. Then some smart folks looked a little harder and realized that the universe actually started at a single point and has been expanding ever since. Some religious worldviews today still believe that history is cyclical. But it’s not. History moves in one direction. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t repeat itself.

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