Mark 10:17-22 – As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good — except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honour your father and mother.'" "Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy." Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. (NIV)
I love my church — except for one thing! When it was built, the architect must have seen that the weight of the roof might cause the walls to collapse outward, and so he fixed a series of iron rods at intervals along the walls just where they meet the ceiling, giving strength to hold them together. The solution is not uncommon, and most are no problem. However the one nearest the front runs as a line obscuring the cross hanging on the wall behind the sanctuary. Every time one looks at the cross, one sees first this ugly iron rod!
One Sunday I realized that only when I went to the front for communion did I see the cross clearly. As I knelt there, the obstruction was unseen. I felt close to Jesus. There was nothing in the way!
How like life! As the rich young man found in the gospel story, many things can keep us from that closeness to Jesus which is our salvation. Only when we bow in humble adoration do the "things" of life disappear and life is put into its proper perspective!
As the chorus says:
- Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, we give you all we are. As we turn our eyes to you, let the cares and concerns of daily life slip away. Blot out the things which keep us from being close to you, from serving you as best we can. Let the light of your countenance fall full upon us. Amen.