Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday's Meditation: What Makes Jesus Dance?

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.” (Luke 10:21)
Dancing Jesus icon by Mark Dukes
What kind of God celebrates when smart people are clueless and newcomers are in on the joke? Luke tells the story of seventy men returning to Jesus with news of spectacular ministry results. Jesus dances for joy and says something so challenging we could meditate on it all week. He rejoiced that the wise and the learned did not have access to the ways of God. He was delighted that children had discovered the way of the Kingdom.

Jesus revealed the things of God by inviting others to join his mission and carry out his work. Though there has never been a greater teacher in the history of the world, Jesus placed a higher priority on innocence than intelligence. He taught in parables; he infuriated the religious wise guys; and he welcomed those foolish enough to simply do what he said.

This bears reflection in the coming days: An omniscient God is not impressed with the size of our intellect, but he is impressed with the size of our heart. How can a finite human mind grasp an infinite God? St. Augustine--although he was one of the greatest intellectuals in history--lamented it was his heart that was too small. He asked God to graciously enlarge the “mansions of his heart,” not the halls of his mind. True, we should love the Lord with all our minds, but the order is important: love comes before knowledge.

The Holy Spirit is not impressed with how many verses we have committed to memory. He does seem to delight in us when even a few of those verses find their way into our everyday lives.

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