Daily Reflection: Where’s the Applause Now? | Galatians 4:14-16
You thought about reaching for a rotten tomato or two and hurling them in my direction. But you didn’t You gave me a standing ovation instead as if I were an angel right out of God’s heaven, as if I were Jesus Christ himself! So what happened? Where is all of your joyful, enthusiastic applause now? I’m telling you, you were ready to throw roses at me – no, you were ready to pluck out your eyes and give them to me! So, what? You’re all sour on me because now you’ve decided you don’t like the truthful tune I’ve been singing this whole time? Galatians 4:14-16 | MAV
“If God seems distant, who moved?” Okay, it’s a bit of a guilt trip, and like most pithy sayings that can fit on a bumper sticker it catches one aspect of Reality while ignoring others. But I think Paul would say it reflects how he felt when it came to the Galatians’ change of tune and ‘tude. Paul hadn’t changed. He was still singing the same song that had won their hearts and launched them into a joyous effusion of praise and gratitude for this rather pathetic wee man who had brought the Message that had set them free from Stromboli’s strings. If Paul seems offensively off key now, who changed the pitch? We can be such a fickle breed. Squirrel! How easily distracted. We, like the Galatians, can perhaps see too much of ourselves in that word-picture story of Jesus: “Some people, like seed sown on shallow ground, hear the word and received it at once!” They’re all over it, falling over themselves to get up front, go public with a big splash, posting it on their wall in ALL CAPS, wearing the t-shirt, buying the Book, attending the seminar, and carving “Me and Jesus plus nothing FOREVER!” on every tree in the neighborhood. Squirrel! And they’re gone. “When trouble or persecution arise because of the Word, they drop away, out of sight, leaving nary a trace behind” (see Mark 4:16-17). Good thing it’s just the Galatians who had to worry about being such fickle, shallow soil. The remarkable thing? No matter how many the squirrels we chase, the Savior still sings.
Where have you experienced fickleness in your own spiritual walk? How can we resist our natural tendencies to chase after the squirrels?
Abba, so dazzle my heart, soul, and mind with You that all else fades into true perspective. Capture me today. Once again.
The whole text this week is Galatians 4:8-20. Read it daily in it’s entirety from a few different translations if possible. Also, as suggested in Sunday’s teaching, you can read and reflect each day this week on our new identity in Christ as set forth by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 1 (particularly verses 3-14).
For all of this week’s resources on Galatians including this week’s DG video on Galatians, check out the Vineyard website.