For the past five days I have had one of the most relaxing but totally busiest periods of time in as long as I can remember. It was great. On Wednesday I met up with one of my dearest friends in Colorado Springs to get an early jump start on his long awaited bachelor party. The two of us hung out with our mentor for an evening and then trekked up to Evergreen where we enjoyed the weather and drank some amazing wine awaiting the arrival of our friends. On Friday I woke up early and as the party gang left for a day on the slopes I peaced out early and made my way to KC where I watched Zach Greinke dominate the Detroit Tigers and I got some much needed sleep. Saturday morning I got to go see the progress that my friends were getting on there community ministry that they have begun in Downtown KC. Its a sweet vision with some even more realistic dedication. They are going to do great things and I am humbled that my father and I could get the opportunity to be a part of this with them by pitching in to prep the building they are moving into. Saturday night was great my amazing parents took me out to dinner and then drove around looking at houses with me as I try to find a place to live. We wrapped the night up with a stop at the greatest bar in KC, Grinders in the Crossroads district. Now, Sunday, I am back in Manhattan finishing my 1400 mile (total coincidence) journey this week.
All week I have been deep in the book of Acts. More so than anything on this miniature sabbatical I wanted to get extended time in the Word. Luckily that was a reality not just a failed hope. On Friday morning, right before my 10 hour journey from Evergreen, CO to Kansas City I stole a nice chunk of time and went into the trees overlooking Mt. Evans and dove into Acts 15. It is some powerful stuff. Luke talks in detail about Paul and Barnabas disputing the Pharisees from Judea and Antioch and their orders for everyone to be circumcised. Paul and Barnabas continually dispute the need for ritual to determine someones commitment to God. This leads all of the way to a meeting with all of the elders in the region where Peter stands up and makes this statement ;
"Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as He did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for He purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
This week even though I was crazy busy I had plenty of time to process and over think things. I had so much time to consume my brain with contradicting thoughts and excuses to water down the scripture I had read. But, for this I only had one thought. For this, Acts 15: 7-11, I could only conjugate one conclusion.
Why do we try to complicate Jesus with ourselves?