Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Feast of St. Bartholomew: A Devotional Commentary

Proverbs 3:1-8 My son, don’t forget my teaching; but let your heart keep my commandments: for length of days, and years of life, and peace, will they add to you. Don’t let kindness and truth forsake you. Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor, and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Fear Yahweh, and depart from evil. It will be health to your body, and nourishment to your bones.

2 Corinthians 4:7-10 But we have this treasure in clay vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed; always carrying in the body the putting to death of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

Luke 22:24-30 There arose also a contention among them, which of them was considered to be greatest. He said to them, “The kings of the nations lord it over them, and those who have authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ But not so with you. But one who is the greater among you, let him become as the younger, and one who is governing, as one who serves. For who is greater, one who sits at the table, or one who serves? Isn’t it he who sits at the table? But I am in the midst of you as one who serves. But you are those who have continued with me in my trials. I confer on you a kingdom, even as my Father conferred on me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. You will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Little is known about the life of St. Bartholomew. But he gave His life for preaching Jesus. According to one tradition he was beheaded. According to another he was flayed alive and crucified upside-down. He was a clay vessel just like you. Just like you, Bartholomew believed he deserved a special in the kingdom. Bartholomew received his special seat by carrying Christ with Him wherever He went and then being martyred.

King Jesus gives us a kingdom. King Jesus brings us into the reign of God but not by conquering all the earthly, evil kingdoms with the power of the sword. King Jesus brings us into the reign of God by dying and by killing us and by giving us His crucified body and blood to eat and to drink. When you see what the kingdom is all about and who it is all about, where you sit doesn't really matter anymore. The kingdom is a feast where we eat and drink Jesus.

No comments: