Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

In the preceding chapter (16), the people had asked what they had done to deserve the judgement God was bringing.  In Jeremiah 17, God answers.

God tells his people that their sin was written on the tablet of their hearts.  He says even their children remember because all the places they went – the places their mothers and fathers took them frequently as they grew up – were all places of idolatry and gross immorality.  The memories of their own children indict them as guilty because they took them, and, in taking them taught them, to worship idols instead of taking them and teaching them to worship God.

It is for this reason that God is bringing judgment.  He says he will give everything they lust after and treasure over and above him so willingly away as spoil to their enemies.  He promises to take their only true treasure – their inheritance in the promise land – and give it away while they are led off to serve their enemies in a foreign place.

God then cites the root of their sin saying, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.” (Jeremiah 17:5)  The entire reason God’s people fell away from him and subsequently were punished was because they feared and trusted men over and above God.  He even tells them why they did it: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

God searches the heart.  He tests our minds.  He gives to each man according to the fruit his life produces.

Where does that leave poor Jeremiah, though?  He wasn’t producing much fruit himself.  He was obeying.  He was being persecuted.  He was suffering for the Lord – namely for saying the Lord’s true words.  But the fruit of his efforts wasn’t real evident just yet.  No one was repenting.  Everyone he knew and loved hated him.  No one was even listening.  And God wasn’t handing out any rewards just yet.  So what does Jeremiah say to God in response to this pronunciation of judgment?

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
    save me, and I shall be saved,
    for you are my praise.
15 Behold, they say to me,
    “Where is the word of the Lord?
    Let it come!”
16 I have not run away from being your shepherd,
    nor have I desired the day of sickness.
You know what came out of my lips;
    it was before your face.
17 Be not a terror to me;
    you are my refuge in the day of disaster.
18 Let those be put to shame who persecute me,
    but let me not be put to shame;
let them be dismayed,
    but let me not be dismayed;
bring upon them the day of disaster;
    destroy them with double destruction! ~Jeremiah 17:14-18

Jeremiah presses further into God’s mercy.  He asks for healing and salvation and reminds God that He alone is his praise.  He cites the ridicule and mocking of those who ignore his warnings and points at his own faithfulness.  Despite all his friends and neighbors have done to disappoint and discourage him in his good work, he reminds God that he has not and is not going to stop being a shepherd to them in whatever ways God commands.  Jeremiah isn’t running away from his tumultuous and trial-filled call.  He isn’t going anywhere.  Instead of running away from obedience, Jeremiah humbly asks God not to be a terror to him.  He renews his trust in the Lord saying, “you are my refuge in the day of disaster.”  He agrees with God about the coming judgement,  and asks to be spared.  Jeremiah knows there’s no changing God’s mind.  He is accepting the Lord’s will, pointing at his own obedience, and asking God for mercy.

Matthew Henry says, “Those that are employed for God, though their success answer not their expectations, must not therefore throw up their commission, but continue to follow God, though the storm be in their faces…if what we say and do be right before God, we may easily despise the reproaches and censures of men.”

The Lord answers Jeremiah by giving him yet another call to action.  Again, God tells Jeremiah to go stand in the gate, in full view of everyone, and command that the people observe the Sabbath.   He is called to remind them that their fathers did not listen, but if they would but listen God would give a blessing.  If they would not listen, God would bring a fire and devour everything sacred in the city.  The way he would bring that fire?  The army of the Chaldeans – their mortal enemies.

Let us not trust in men.  Let us not run away from difficult callings.  Let us trust in God alone, agree with God about his justice, rely on his healing, salvation, and mercy, and continue doing all that which he commands – even in the midst of strife and personal discouragement.  Amen.


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In Exodus 34:10-28. God and his people are reconciled.  Peace has been made after their sin.  God has not only forgiven them, but poured his love, mercy, and affections upon them saying, “…Behold, I am making a covenant.  Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation.  And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.” ~Exodus 34:10

Not only is God making a covenant with these newly restored people, he is sacrificing other groups for their advancement.  He has again made them the very apples of his eye.

We know this because God promises to drive out all of those living in the land they are about to inhabit.  He specifically instructs them to tear down their false gods and refrain from making friends of those who worship other gods.  He reminds them – doubtless due to their most recent failures – “for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God,” and “You shall not make for yourself any gods of cast metal.” ~Exodus 34:14,17  Matthew Henry says, “Those cannot worship God aright who do not worship him alone…That they might not be tempted to worship other gods, they must not join in affinity or friendship with those that did….such is the corruption of nature that the bad are much more likely to debauch the good than the good to reform the bad.” 

God very specifically tells his people not to intermarry with idolaters.  The reason is that their covenant is with Him and not to be exchanged for alliances with them.  Let us remember these words anytime we are among unbelievers.

Next, God commands His people to keep feasts of remembrance, make sacrifices to him, honor the Sabbath, and come before him regularly three times per year. The reason for these feasts was to remind the people of God’s provision, to remind them to give their best to God, and to remind them to rest, obey, honor and remember Him as their only true God.

In verses 21-24, we find God all but saying, “Remember me.  Remember me.  Remember me.”  In verse 25 – Remember my provision (the manna in the desert), remember my salvation (the Passover), and in verse 26 – remember not to worship idols (The boiling of a calf in its mother’s milk was a pagan ritual and superstition.) Remember me; remember me; no idols.  Remember me; remember me; remember me.  Remember me; remember me; no idols.

Finally, he tells Moses to write it down for them.  Moses fasted forty days and forty nights and rewrote the Ten Commandments on the tablets.  How utterly amazing.  Our God is a God of reconciliation.  He is a jealous God and will stop at nothing to eradicate idols and idolatry from our lives.  He makes his people remember him that we might not sin against him.  Amen.

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So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria. ~John 4:3-4

The context of this “leaving” is notable.  Jesus left Judea for a reason.  He left because the religious leaders of his day caught wind that he was gaining a following.  His disciples were baptizing lots of people – even more than John the Baptist.

Why would that make Jesus leave?  If Jesus was bringing people to God, why would religious men be upset?  Why would what some religious pretenders thought make him stop and leave?  Why was that a problem?

It was a problem because those religious leaders were extremely jealous.  Jesus knew they wanted the power and control of God’s house and God’s people that belonged solely to him.  Because they so coveted and idolized power and control so severely, they wrongfully assumed that that was what Jesus and his followers must want, too.  They thought that he came to take their beloved places of authority.  Because their identity was in their works and their positions rather than in a right relationship with God, they hated Jesus and his right-doing followers.

Ironically, Jesus had every right to direct the religious dealings of the Jews.  He was their Savior!  He had every right to be the authority among all of them and all the Gentiles as well.  He is the King of Kings!!!  Wonder what would happen if Jesus showed up today to put his church in order?  Wonder what religious men would do?  Wonder what would happen if he tried to do it through the testimony of an adulteress woman?

Somehow, people, especially particularly religious ones, do not like when Jesus is really in charge of the church.  When Jesus is calling the shots, men are not and their almighty positions of leadership are threatened.

Jesus does not fight with them over their pride and pretense.  Instead, he reveals it.  He reveals it by leaving.  He chooses to go through Samaria – a place and a people that the Jews overtly hated.  Jesus proves their hypocrisy without even saying a word to them.  He does it merely by purposefully preaching to a person they despised – a Samaritan woman.

Sometimes religious leaders cannot hear plain and simple truth no matter how clear and obvious it really is.  They cannot hear because they refuse to.  The wisdom of Christ recognizes that and stops talking.  The wisdom of Christ simply shows them up by doing exactly the things they should be doing but refuse out of their pride and hypocrisy.

Jesus went directly through Samaria on a route the Jews went far out of their way to avoid.  The text says he “had to.”  He had to because he had to show the religious men their fault.  He had to because he had to show the Samaritans salvation.  He cared equally about both the religious men in their error and the irreligious woman in hers.  He proved both in one act.

To prove the level of hatred for the woman with whom Jesus chose to speak, the text says this:

 27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” ~John 4:27

No one asked these questions.  Despite their surprise, no one wanted to know?  There is a reason for that.  They likely did not want to be asked to do the same.  Even Jesus’ own disciples were tainted by the social norms of their day.  They knew it was social homicide to speak with Samaritans or honor them as brothers and, gasp, sisters.  They were not willing to risk their own reputation to honor people God had chosen.  They were afraid, prideful, and unyielding to those whom God had deemed clean.

Jesus is not like erring, religious men.  He does not avoid difficult and uncomfortable situations.  In fact, he makes it a point to meet the very people who instigate them.  He does it in order to show prideful men the hatred they have in their hearts for others and to show humble outcasts the love he has in his heart for even them.  He does both at the very same time.

Even Jesus’ disciples feared following his lead and example in talking to this outcast woman.  Not only  was she part of a social group they avoided, she was a she and not a he.  The contempt they had for her was doubly great.  Jesus shone a light on the contempt they had for her in order to show them the wickedness in their own hearts.

That is why Jesus “had to” go through Samaria when everyone knew you were supposed to take the long way around and avoid them – avoid her- at all costs!  He had to expose the attitudes that had a continual internal dialogue that repeated words like this: “What if someone sees?  What will people think?  She is a dog!  We cannot be friends.  We are enemies.  I’m so good and she’s so bad and what if someone thinks I like her?   What if someone thinks I like her more than I should?  What if I do like her more than I should?  How will I cover up my sin?  How will I regain my good reputation?  She will ruin me!  She is out to get me!  She is bad!  I am good!  Stay away, wicked wench!  You are not worthy of my words or my water!  God does not call people like you to serve him!  Let me just keep pretending you don’t exist so I can feel good about my own righteousness, good reputation, and religious position!”

The Jews were wrong about Jesus.  Their power-hungry hearts were desperately jealous.  They were wrong about the Samaritans.  They were wrong about women. The Jews were no different than any other human group on earth.  They just thought they were because they were used to getting special treatment; preference; respect; seats of honor.  They were, after all, the children of a long line of self-righteous, spoiled brats.  They were just as desperately needy and sinful as any Samaritan in Samaria.  Therefore,  Jesus pulls the curtain back on their dark thoughts and actions not by telling them, but by doing the very things they were not willing to do.  He shows them their sin by doing the right they refused to do.

 And the woman preached the gospel by her testimony.  The Samaritans were saved despite all the religious efforts to avoid the likes of these unworthy people whom they esteemed themselves so much better than.

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. ~John 4:39-41

To that end I ask, are things really any different today?  If you think things have changed, try being a former adulteress with something to offer in a patriarchal church in 2017. Nevertheless, despite the odds, Jesus used an adulteress to save a town full of outcast rejects.  If anything gives me hope at all, it is that.

Be careful who you purposefully avoid.  Be careful who you hold contempt for in your heart.  Jesus might call you out on your hypocrisy and pride by using that very person to start a revival among those you consider most unworthy; those you personally despise.  What will you do when God’s church is full of people you have spent your whole life avoiding and despising?  You have two choices:

1.Crucify him

2.Love them

Kyrie elesion

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Consider a man with great religious knowledge.  Consider a man who is influential, intelligent, and intimidating.  Imagine he has twenty close friends exactly like him.  Now imagine that man coming to your house and threatening you and your three close friends.  Imagine him watching as his buddies kill your buddies and put them in prison…because he can and because he sincerely thinks he is doing the right thing.

Meet Saul of Tarsus, the Bible’s favorite miracle.

“But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him…Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.” Acts 9:1-3, 8-9

When the Lord came to Saul, he went blind.  I think I know why.

Saul was a guy who saw everything.  This is a very detail-oriented guy.  Think boss, leader, foreman.  Paul saw everything everyone did and did not do.  All. The. Time. He knew everyone.  He thought he knew everything, and, truth be told, he did know a lot about that which he was talking.  He had credentials, experience, and position to prove it.  So, needless to say, people turned into cockroaches when the lights come on when Saul stomped into their town.  No one wanted to be the target he chose.  Saul was feared because he had a keen eye to see anything and everything everyone did, as he saw it, wrong.

Furthermore, he had friends – a group of people who did the same, encouraged, and approved of him doing so.  The Pharisees saw everything, knew everyone, and, in their extreme self-righteousness, felt genuinely justified in every critical assessment they made about others.  They made their own laws.  They obeyed their own laws.  You better obey their laws, too…or else.

Interestingly, God chose to make Saul blind when he saved him.  Such a man would have more trouble than most with blindness. When you see everything all your life and feel it is your responsibility to say exactly what you see, blindness is death.  Daily death, perhaps?

…Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing…

Saul saw nothing.  Oh, but in that nothing was something very important.  For the first time in Saul’s self-governed life, he saw himself.  When Saul could see nothing, he began to see everything.  When he could not see anyone else or their issues, his own issue became crystal clear to him.  A wise man once said we ought to pray that, “our sin becomes the only thing we see.”  When Saul saw the heavenly light, he went blind, but when Saul went blind, he saw the heavenly light.  The light of Christ showed him his sin and he had but one need: mercy.

Once upon a time, another light shone from heaven.

 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ~Luke 2:8-11

In our first instance, God brought man’s sin to light.  In the second, God brought his unmitigated mercy to all men.  Thank God!

The Lord was extraordinarily merciful to Saul.  He changed him into, quite possibly, the most influential man in the Bible, save Jesus.  The means by which that happened was quite interesting, too.  He called upon a specific Christian named Ananias and told him to go to blind Saul and lay hands and pray over him.  Do you know what Ananias said?

No way, God.  Don’t you know who he is?? He is a monster.  He will kill me.  He even has the authority to kill me.  Really?

I chose him, Ananias.  Go.

Ananias went and prayed for Saul.  The Lord restored his sight.  Next, the disciples hung out with him.  He began to preach.  The Christians could not believe it and the Jews were confused.  The Jews sought to kill him and the Christians were terrified of him.  God knew it would take another miracle to change Saul’s bad reputation into Paul’s new identity in the eyes of everyone else.

The miracle God chose to use to accomplish Saul’s conversion was a heavenly light and an audible voice heard only by Saul.  The miracle God chose to establish Saul’s new identity and character was an earthly man’s (Ananias) laying on of hands and praying and another earthly man’s (Barnabas) friendship and reference.

To that end Paul spends the rest of his life in great effort and defense of the gospel.  No longer preoccupied with taking others to task, Paul had a new task: taking his own sin to task and sharing his own struggles as a springboard for the gospel message.  Saul’s shouting had turned into a song about his own sin and Christ’s great mercy toward him.  That song steered the rest of his life and God saved (and continues to save!) more men than stars in the sky though Paul’s salvation and subsequent suffering.

His song is my song, everyday forever. I heard it yesterday upon entering the Doctor’s office.  Kyrie eleison. Lord, have mercy.

Kyrie eleison – a short, repeated invocation used in many Christian litergies, especially at the beginning of the Eucharist or as a response in a litany.  Literally, “Lord, have mercy.” Let it not be Greek to me any longer. 

 Kyrie eleison
Kyrie eleison

The wind blows hard against this mountain side
Across the sea into my soul
It reaches into where I cannot hide
Setting my feet upon the road

My heart is old, it holds my memories
My body burns a gemlike flame
Somewhere between the soul and soft machine
Is where I find myself again

Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel
Kyrie eleison, through the darkness of the night
Kyrie eleison, where I’m going, will you follow?
Kyrie eleison, on a highway in the light

When I was young I thought of growing old
Of what my life would mean to me
Would I have followed down my chosen road
Or only wished what I could be

Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel
Kyrie eleison, through the darkness of the night
Kyrie eleison, where I’m going, will you follow?
Kyrie eleison, on a highway in the light

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Paul continues in Chapter 2 of Philippians with a “therefore.”  In other words, because Christ has given you encouragement, comfort, love, the Spirit, affection, sympathy, and because of his great example of humility, sacrifice, and selflessness, obey.

Obey.  Continue to obey.

This is the foremost command that Paul gives to the Philippians.  The man is in prison, innocently charged; wrongfully convicted.  He doesn’t call upon his church to start a campaign for justice in his name.  He doesn’t ask them for assistance to obtain his rightful freedom.  Paul considers only the gospel and their adherence to it – not himself.  He tells them to obey.

This is what obedience to the gospel in the middle of a hate-filled, antagonistic, unjust world looks like practically:

 Work out your salvation…  Do not be lazy about your spiritual life.  Give Christ your all with blood, sweat, and tears.  Exercise spiritual disciplines like prayer, fellowship, study, fasting, communion, etc. often.  Exercise your spiritual gifts and give support and encouragement to others with them often.  Know what the truth is, know what you believe, and do it.  Work out, spiritually.  This is how you learn to obey God better.

  …with fear and trembling.  Be serious about your spiritual life.  This being a Christian thing is not a joke.  It isn’t a joyride or a ticket to an easier earthly life.  Following Christ is dangerous, difficult, and daring.  If you are not all in and rightly sober about your daily decisions, you will fall.  Beware.  You will be repeatedly, violently, mercilessly attacked by the Enemy.  But be not afraid of him or those who would carry out his work.  Fear only the one who holds your soul.  Fear God alone and treat the gift of salvation he has given with reverence, respect, and the utmost concern and care.  Be serious about your salvation.

Do all things without grumbling or questioning.  Paul is not complaining.  Wrongfully, innocently incarcerated, yet he rejoices.  He instructs.  He prays.  He sings.  He teaches us by his example that there is nothing worthy enough in this world to forfeit our joy for the sake of.  Nothing!  Not injustice.  Not violence.  Not betrayal.  Not workplaces.  Not difficult children.  Not sickness.  Not brokenness.  Not pain.  Not suffering.  Not inconvenience.  Not disappointment.  Nothing!  It’s like Paul is speaking life to us saying, “Don’t you see?  This ‘rule’ against complaining is not given to rob us of the freedom to decompress or draw encouragement in the midst of difficulty.  No!  This command is given so we might pour ourselves out to God – the only one who can perfectly encourage, comfort, love, sympathize, and counsel by his Spirit – and trust him in all circumstances.”  This command is for this explicit reason: that we might pour out our broken heart without losing our joy somewhere in between our self-defeating words of doubt and our self-pitying words of discouragement.  Christ wants to build us up in faith.  It’s hard to do that when we’re constantly tearing ourselves down in dejection and distress.  Ask me how I know.

Obeying the “don’t complain” instruction is not about rule-keeping, brothers and sisters.  It is about joy-keeping.  Paul says it makes us blameless, innocent, and without blemish.  He says trusting God with our pain by sacrificing our illegitimate right to complain makes us look like God’s children.  This sacrifice makes us shine in the darkness of this depraved world because it makes evident our love and trust in the word God has spoken to us.  Not only that, but it makes our leaders and teachers proud.  Proud.  Not proud of themselves, rather, proud of us for doing what they have called us to on Christ’s behalf.  It gives them encouragement; a return for their investment in us.  And that should give us even more joy.  What child doesn’t long to make Daddy and his friends proud?

Paul is not in the business of pointing fingers and wearing us out by unkeepable standards.  Paul just wants us to see what he did.  He wants us to understand that sacrificing our illegitimate rights to the wrong things is a fire that leads directly to our own good.  It is a fire that leads to no-matter-what-joy.  It is a fire that keeps us hopeful, faithful, Christ-centered, and other-centered.  This is how we survive this world without giving up.  It is how he did.

 God, help me obey.

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Throughout Ephesians, Paul has set forth standards for life and relationships for a people who are living in a very corrupt, idolatrous, and ungodly city.  He concludes the book with some important instructions on how to dress.

Armor.  When is the last time someone told you to prepare for war?  Maybe an athletic coach or a drill sergeant has prepped you in the past.  But how about your pastor?

Paul tells the Ephesians to put on armor.  Armor!  His focus is strength and his goal is winning the battles and attacks every Christian is sure to encounter.  So what makes us strong?

Truth.  Paul calls it the belt of truth.  We must know the truth of God because it is our very foundation.  Our belt supports all other garments and keeps them in place.

Righteousness.  Paul refers to this one as a breastplate.  He is not referring to a righteousness gained by works or by any means of our own.  He is referring to the righteousness of Christ. Trusting in his perfect righteousness protects our hearts and gives us the right to stand up to the enemy’s constant accusations.

Readiness.  Like shoes, Paul likens the peace made by Christ through his death on the cross to a readiness to do whatever God calls us to and even meet him if it is our time.

Salvation.  This is our helmet.  The saving power or Christ protects our thoughts and minds from evil.  No one ever acts out sin they have not first thought upon.

The Word of God.  Otherwise known as the Bible, Paul insists that the scripture is our sword.  A sharp, double-edged sword is what we have been given.  Not only that, but also the Holy Spirit to illuminate these divine words and inspire, convict, encourage, and rebuke.  The word of God is both offensive and defensive.  Knowing and doing what the Bible says is a fail safe weapon against Satan’s schemes.

Prayer.  Perhaps the single most important ingredient in this whole soldier suit is prayer.  Jesus himself said that we can do nothing apart from him.  Some of us learn the hard way how true this really is.

Paul concludes the book of Ephesians by urging the people to stay alert, persevere, and pray for all things including him.  He promises to send an informant to them about his work for their encouragement and offers peace, love, faith, grace, and Christ’s incorruptible love to them.

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I’m not into movies.  I can count on one hand the movies I’d enjoy watching a second time.  Most movies violate at least two Loriland principles: 1. Don’t make me sit still 2. Don’t waste my time.  As a rule, I generally avoid movies on days that end in “y.”  I do like reeeeally like popcorn with liquid heart stop syrup, though, which just so happens to be the solitary reason why I submit myself to the theater every once in a while.

Last night was one of those nights.  We took the kids to see Big Hero 6.  With a marshmallow looking robot as the lead role, I assumed it was a tossup as to whether I’d actually be able to keep my eyelids from drooping for the entire 108 minutes.  Quite on the contrary, to my amazement, I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of this story.   I laughed, I cried, and I learned.  And, because I am generally such an anti-movie Nazi, I figure I should at least give credit where credit is due.  For a kid’s movie, Big Hero 6 was surprisingly excellent.

The story is about two very intelligent, albeit orphaned, brothers.  The younger, Hiro, is a prodigy who lacks purpose; the older, Tadashi, is a college student who goes to “nerd school” to build a robot nurse named “Baymax.”

When Tadashi is killed trying to help someone, Hiro is driven to seek revenge.  Since Baymax was designed to be a nurse, he reminds Hiro saying, “I am not fast.”  He upgrades Baymax and makes him a fighter…but with his original healing-centered programming, Baymax can do no harm.

Through a journey of anger, retaliation, revenge seeking, and helplessness, Hiro truly becomes a hero.  When Baymax refuses to comply with Hiro’s anger, corrects him in love, and reminds him of the will of his beloved brother, Hiro finds his purpose.  When Hiro lets go of vengeance towards the deceitful enemies who have robbed him of so much, he is miraculously able to save them from their own reprisals and teach them what he has learned in the process.

Big Hero 6 rightly illustrates how useless it is to return violence for injustice done to us.  It does so in a way that adults cannot miss and children can easily understand.  It requites the bloodthirst in all of us with a subtle, simple message of forgiveness and love.  Baymax teaches Hiro, and us, to turn the other cheek and apprehend (not destroy) evildoers for the sake of the common good – not personal vendettas.  Big Hero 6 is truly a masterpiece.

My Baymax is the Holy Spirit.  He is the gift left by my big brother, Jesus.  He will never allow me to do harm no matter how much I’ve been wronged.  He is not fast.  The work he is programmed for is painstakingly slow.  He refuses to comply with my anger, insists I let go of vengeance, and teaches me how to work towards the salvation, not destruction, of my enemies by ever reminding me of the one I love most – Jesus.  The Spirit of God heals what is broken in us and shows us how to do the same for others – just like Baymax did for Hiro.

Bravo, Disney.  You did it again…on the back of borrowed capital from Christianity.

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