Last night in Bible Study, we were led to discuss the concept that the logic of the world is foolishness to God, but that His logic was foolishness to the world. This creates constant tension in every moment, at least the significant ones, in our lives. Do we make plans based on God’s logic or the worlds?
The world’s logic will under normal circumstances produce wealth and prestige. The only problem is that everyone around you is trying for the same wealth and prestige, but there only so much wealth can be gotten. The world’s logic will under normal circumstances create friends that express their loyalty so long as it benefits them, otherwise loyalty is short-lived and can even turn to opposition if something better comes along. This is the truth of the world. If you don’t believe me, just spend a few minutes watching the news. Today’s friends are tomorrow’s enemies.
Then, we have God’s logic as expressed in today’s readings below. In both readings today we find that God’s logic is counterintuitive to the world. When was the last time your friend or coworker said, “Share in suffering?” Rather, we are told, “You deserve better!” When was the last time a leader offered himself up to the enemy for the sake of his soldiers? Today’s political leaders remain safe in their bunker commanding forces through radio messages, while watching in the ‘situation room’ via satellite video feed. When was the last time you hear anyone say about those who refused to follow, “That’s ok; he’s not bothering us.”
Timothy, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hardworking farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will grant you understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my gospel, the gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal. But the word of God is not fettered. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory. – 2 Timothy 2.1-10
The Lord said to his disciples, "Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men." But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask him about this saying. And an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But when Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts, he took a child and put him by his side, and said to them, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great." John answered, "Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us." But Jesus said to him, "Do not forbid him; for he that is not against you is for you." – Luke 9.44-50
As Christians we are invited by God, never forced, to turn away from the worldly logic and offer ourselves in the service of others, EVEN when they don’t follow us. We are invited, never forced, to endure suffering, DESPITE not deserving punishment. As Christians we have a different goal than the world. Our goal is far beyond wealth and prestige. Our goal is eternity with God, in His loving embrace, comforted by His grace. Best part is, there is enough of God’s love to go around, so we never have to worry about someone taking ‘our share’ away from us. That is worldly logic and leads to being enemies.
This is not an easy ‘pill to swallow’ but when we freely accept the challenge, we will be blessed by God. He will never force us to follow Him. He will never force us to turn away from the world. The gift of free will is the foundation of His love for us. There is no love in obligation, but freedom opens our hearts to God’s desire for us to be with Him in heaven. If you are having difficulty turning away from the worldly logic, stop by the Church this week and spend some time in God’s House. He is physically present there, waiting for you. Light a candle. Venerate the Holy Icons. Then, sit and listen for God’s Spirit to lift your heart, and guide you to follow His logic. It is the only logic that never turns against us.