Tuesday, January 22, 2008

WWYD?


WWYD? No, that’s not a typo. Remember the WWJD craze a few years ago? I think I might even still have a WWJD bracelet lying around somewhere. When confronted with a situation and a choice, we were to ask ourselves the question “what would Jesus do?” It’s a good idea really, a good way to remind yourself in whose steps you’re trying to follow. If we’re living the lives that God wants us to live, then it would only make sense that we would try to make the decisions Jesus would make.

Isaiah 42:1-9 is concerned with the question WWJD? This prophecy is about the messiah, and describes the kind of person and the kind of savior this messiah will be. Listen to the prophet’s description: “he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth.” Someone who brings justice, a quietly strong leader, someone gentle and healing—when he sees a bruised reed, he will not break it. A dimly lit flame he won’t put out.

Do you ever feel like your flame is dimly lit, and that you are damaged goods—bruised, broken and battered? Good news—the messiah, Jesus, came to give you life! At the end of the reading, God speaks directly to his messiah, saying “I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.” Wow…what great promises, and what great things Jesus has done for us. He has released us from the prison of death, from the darkness of our sin and has given us new life through his death and resurrection!

That’s what Paul’s talking about in Romans 6:6-11. He tells us how our old selves were crucified with Christ so that we might no longer be slaves to sin. There’s a saying that goes something like this: in every person’s life there is a cross and a throne. If Christ is on the throne, then our old sinful selves have been crucified on the cross. If on the other hand it is we who sit on the throne, then what we do is crucify Christ again and again.

I think in our lives, the more pertinent question is not “what would Jesus do?” I think we need to ask ourselves WWYD? What will YOU do? We know what Jesus did—he defeated death and sin on our behalf. So then, not out of any obligation, not out of any desire to live up to a standard or earn our way into God’s good graces, but merely in response to this amazing gift…in response to Christ’s sacrifice, in response to his love, what will YOU do? How will you live your life? How will you tell other people about what God has done for us? How will you shine the forgiving, transforming, life-changing light of Christ in your life? Dear friends, may we all look for ways to answer the question WWYD? I pray that God would guide us, and that our response might be a faithful one that helps shine his light into the broken and dark places in the world.

WWYD? What will you do?

LH

2 comments:

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

good thoughtful post LH!

Rev Scott said...

Larry always thought the bracelets should read "WWJHMD?" for "What Would Jesus Have Me Do?" Same idea, I think. Nicely, nicely put.