Perceive – Br. Luke Ditewig

Br. Luke Ditewig

Psalm 115:1-10
Matthew 9:32-38

I have gotten water in my ear while swimming. Muffled, it took a lot more effort to hear and pay attention. Remember what it’s like to lose part of your perception.

The psalmist tonight says idols, gods which humans make, are not worth worship. “They have mouths but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.” Idols cannot perceive. Don’t trust them, says the psalmist. Rather, “you who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord.”

Likewise, God speaks through the prophet Hosea, not about other nations but God’s own people. “With silver and gold they made idols for their own destruction. … an artisan made it; it is not God.” Focused on what they made, our ancestors did not perceive. It’s like their ears were full, muffled to God’s voice.

We make idols when focusing on something or someone instead of God. We can make an idol out of anything: out of person by overly seeking their approval or appreciation or time, out of work, hobbies, wealth, possessions, or avocation. It’s not so much what but how we use it, or how much we focus on it.

In our Gospel lesson Jesus sees and focuses on people in need. “When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” I keep finding myself like a lost sheep both by the grief and trouble of the world and because I am distracted, not focused on Jesus. I have idols that impair my perception and wounds that hinders me. We keep needing Jesus.

What is on your heart tonight? What hurts? What do you need? What is muffling or getting in the way? The good news is Jesus is alive with power and compassion to nourish and heal again and again. “You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord.” Jesus is God made flesh, who clearly perceives with love.

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