45 “Teacher,” said an expert in religious law, “you have insulted us, too, in what you just said.”
46 “Yes,” said Jesus, “what sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden. 47 What sorrow awaits you! For you build monuments for the prophets your own ancestors killed long ago. 48 But in fact, you stand as witnesses who agree with what your ancestors did. They killed the prophets, and you join in their crime by building the monuments! 49 This is what God in his wisdom said about you: ‘I will send prophets and apostles to them, but they will kill some and persecute the others.’
Luke 11: 45-49 (NLT)
Greetings and peace my friends!
I have been astonished recently by the number of “experts” in the world. After the tragic violence that occurred in Washington DC last week, there are many constitutional “experts” that have appeared on the horizon. News media folks, people who use social media, friends in conversations, all seem to have “expert” knowledge of the meaning and how to use the 25th amendment of our country’s constitution.
Of course, there are not just “experts” on the constitution that are appearing before us, we also have many and varied “experts” in politics, both locally and on a larger scale. These “experts” know exactly what to do to bring the world back into harmony and provide a sense of security.
In recent conversations with colleagues there are many “experts” in how to fix all that ails our local congregations. “Experts” in increasing effectiveness of ministry. “Experts” in the path forward from where we are. “Experts” in understanding God’s Will.
Whether or not people declare themselves outright to be “experts”, they speak with such passion and authority that their “expertise” in a specific subject matter is on display for all the world to see. Often these “experts” have so much passion for their momentary area of “expertise” that they are not interested in hearing any opinions or thoughts that might “stretch” their own understanding on a topic, after all they are “experts.”
Today my friends I humbly declare to you that I am NOT an “expert” at anything! Yes, I have education and a personal understanding of how I envision God working in the world. Yes, I have a clue as far as sharing a message about faith with those who have open and willing ears to listen. Yes, I have a vision that has been implanted deep into my being and shared with the leaders and all who desire to listen regarding how I see our community of faith moving forward, but trust me… I am NOT an expert.
I often find wisdom and knowledge in speaking with teenagers among us regarding ways in which they view the world. These sisters and brothers teach me about how technology and social media can be used to proclaim the gospel more powerfully. I find incredible insight in our preschool sisters and brothers in Christ regarding ways in which we are called to share with one another and offer forgiveness to one another. I find youthful joys in the thoughts and words of some of my elderly sisters and brothers in Christ who wonderfully share ideas on ways in which joy can be found in some of the simpler moments of lives.
I suppose “experts” do not desire or need the wisdom, counsel, and advice of others, rather they only desire to proclaim and reinforce their expertise in the world which they inhabit.
Today, I humbly come before you and ask…. “Are you an expert or a disciple?”
Until next time,
Keep trusting God, keep washing those hands, and keep learning from one another.