How BIG is Your God? Mark 2:23-27
I have breakfast plans with a friend this morning, so I’m writing from my home office. This is the space that I run my corporate world. Lovely, isn’t it? I find the natural light and standing awesome for my work energy, so this little sunroom nook is perfect. Today was supposed to be nice enough for a bike ride, at least that is what they said on the news Monday, but with a fresh snowfall yesterday, I’m NOT super hopeful. Praying for a miracle, I’ve left my afternoon open for my exercise.
More than a week ago, a friend cautioned me against adding yoga to my exercise routine because the practice would invoke evil spirits. I don’t know if that is her full reasons. To be honest, I was so angered by this, I hit red and said I did not want to talk about it. When she pressed, I got pretty angry. She sent me some copy of something telling me that in sun salutation I was calling out the sun demon. I also had another Christian friend post something else about the evils of yoga and why she would never let her grandkids do it.
I’ve been toiling with two thoughts and why this has taken me so long to write about. One is the level of anger about this. I’m unsure where that is coming from and even now, I don’t know the complete source, but I will give you a good shot at my understanding hopefully in a future blog. The other is this complete craziness that Christians feel the need to put God in a box AND continue to create “rules”.
Jesus had a very clear and distinct message—love God with all your heart, mind, and soul; and love your neighbor (this includes people ALL over the world) as yourself. From this all other rules can be followed. This is a paraphrase of Matthew 22:35-40 and Mark 12:28-34. Through what is called The Great Commission, Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations and spread the good news everywhere. Again, paraphrased, but you get the idea.
While on earth, this awe-inspiring man, Jesus, did so many great things–all of them based in elevating and loving people—ALL OF THEM. He told us time and again that all those “rules” we were worried about didn’t really matter. That through Him, our Creator, we would find everything we need. In fact, there are parables that he offered that clearly stated that breaking rules was the “right” thing to do.
As an example, in Mark 2:23-27 the Pharisees are upset that Jesus and his disciples are picking grain on the Sabbath. This problem came up a lot as Jesus also healed people on this special day. In this instance, Jesus chose to turn to them and talk about how David stole holy bread so that he and his soldiers might eat. He was trying to get them to see that caring for people, that coming together in unity, was more important than the “rules”. That there is a greater good at work and to follow the Spirit of love. From there, you cannot go wrong.
There are so many stories like this that I frankly do not understand why Christians get so tangled up in all this other “stuff”. How is telling people to not practice yoga bringing them closer to God? Just so it’s clear, the practice of yoga has been around for 5,000 years. Jesus knew there were people on the other part of the planet stretching to the sun god. If this was a BIG deal to Him, don’t you think He would have mentioned it?
The same holds true for so many other sins that Christians run around pointing out, as if magnifying some other sin takes theirs away. One of the sayings that really frustrates me is, “Hate the sin, love the sinner.” Really? We ALL sin. This is a universal code to be applied ALL the time, to everyone. Christians frequently use it when they are referring to someone doing something, God forbid, they’d never do. In saying it, to me, it smacks of pride and prejudice—two sins right there.
This is NOT what Jesus did. He sat with the sinner and tax collector and let them know they were loved, accepted, and had an important place at the table. He met them where they were and was not afraid to do things that others in religious circles frowned upon. This is what we should be doing for everyone, all the time. That is how we love the sinner and in that, there is NO need to point out any sin. That is God’s work to change a heart. We each have our own story and God is the writer of it.
If you think evil spirits will get me in my sun salutation, you don’t know my God. While in yoga positions, just like when I am biking, lifting, or running, I am thanking God for my strength. I am asking Him to keep me healthy, so I might better do His will. Another frequent prayer is, “Lord, get me through this.” (Exercise is tough work. HA!)
He is with me. He is Strong. He is Mighty. With and through Him NO harm will come to me—none. If you don’t believe that, you might want to consider, “How BIG is your God?”
Dearest Heavenly Father (and Mother), You sent Jesus here to show us the way—Your way. Sometimes it is very hard to see. There are so many messages out there. We ask that you shine a Light to the way of Love, Peace, and Unity. That is Your way, and may we follow it always. In Your Mighty and Holy name…
I got a few other prayer requests last night. Lots of strife in the world. If you have any requests for me, please let me know. You are loved.