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Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 240: A mark on the forehead

Today's Reading: Ezekiel 9-12

God's heavenly scribe, donned in linen and carrying his writing kit, is commanded to go throughout the people and mark the foreheads of those who are grieving and lamenting over the detestable things in their land. In other words, the foreheads of the repentant ones were marked.

Then, God's heavenly guards, most likely angels in God's army who are the spiritual guardians of the city, are to kill all who are not repentant, those who are stubborn and rebellious. Even though they claim to be Israelites and God's people, they are seen by God as the enemy.

Deduction: God's people mourn over sin. God's enemies are stubborn and rebellious.

Christians have a sacrament in which the forehead is "marked." It is the sacrament of baptism. One of the understandings of baptism is that of repentance and grieving over sin. The repentant one turns to Jesus Christ for salvation and is thus marked as Christ's own.

Baptism is not a right. It is a gift of grace. It is a sign of humility and an admission of great need, total dependence on God.

Later in Revelation, those who have been marked and sealed by God on the forehead are saved; their names are written in the Book of Life.

I wonder, if God's scribe came to my town today, if I would be one of the one's who would receive the mark on my forehead, or if I would be judged by God as one of the stubborn and rebellious ones.

This is something to ponder for those of us who have been baptized. Are we living a life of humility and grace wherein we mourn the disobedience and "detestable things" in our culture, or are we pridefully or ignorantly going along with the world, blind to the danger all around us?

I will touch my forehead today.
I will remember that you have claimed me in my baptism.
Claimed me as your own.
Claimed me to be a light in darkness.
Claimed me to see the world as it truly is.

Give me a heart of humility and repentance
To truly grieve my own sinful ways
Do not allow me to become stubborn
hard hearted
Keep me ever in your Way
until I am home at last in your presence.

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