“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)
Thinking about this, beloved reader, it occurs to me that another thing has changed from the concept of “group” rescue and redemption to individual rescue and salvation. Now we are assured of grace and mercy, and are being asked to respond to the Lord God’s grace and mercy. In the past, that is in the “group” motif, proper behavior and worship was expected FIRST, then salvation would come. Now isn’t that interesting. Of course my supposition is not a hard and fast rule; and some level, understanding, acceptance, and belief was expected. But in the early Christian church new believers learned what it meant to live this new life. The Hebrews/Israelites/Judahites/Jews were expected to know, accept, and practice right living before Yahweh’s blessing would be bestowed.
Could it be that the disciples were gentler task masters of correct Christian living and belief than the Old Testament prophets, preachers, and scribes? You know what the difference was – the disciples learned directly from Jesus Christ the Lord God. The Old Testament leaders went on their own assumptions of what the Almighty Lord would want. I am not saying they distorted God’s message. Maybe the Lord God, the Mighty Divine of the Old Testament was a tough task master. Scholars have puzzled for generations about the change, and I have yet to hear an explanation that allows the two Divine Differing Dynamics to be united. Maybe that is just me.
But it seems to me, beloved reader, if we put aside that perplexing question and just focus on what we learn from the New Testament by way of Paul and the other apostles, there is very good reason to rejoice. And especially during Advent, that is very good thing to do! Selah!
Syndicated from Pondering From the Pacific