Sunday, July 24, 2016
The 24th Psalm is built upon two questions. The first is in verse 3 and reads, "Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place?" The second question if found in verse 8 and asks, "Who is the King of glory?" One question is about us and the other is about God. There is no mystery here. The questions are not rhetorical. Each one is answered within the context of the Psalm. The first question is answered with the words, "Those who have clean hands and pure hearts..." and the second is answered as the Word says, "The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle." (vs. 4, 8)
Most of the time it can be said with merit that our theological systems and statements make things more complicated than they really need to be. Jesus had a way of cutting through all the bull of the prevailing theological systems which were really more like a code of law than pure theology. In a theological world made too complicated by religious hierarchy's desire to control and dominate others, Jesus made it as simple as loving God and loving one another. Those who had sold their souls to a religious system could not even begin to embrace such a simple understanding of how men and women should live in order to be righteous before God.
How God wants us to live is not a complicated thing and we are wise to temper personal judgments that exclude some people because they do not agree with us on every item in our theological basket. This is not to say that what is important about our faith must be compromised, but to say that we need to let grace and mercy abound in those places where confusion seems to reign. Better to be one who helps folks find the gate that leads to God than to be one that bars the way.