Scripture: Luke 6:1-11
Key verse: (11) But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
Reflection: Like friends, you should have more than one translation of the Bible, and keep them close as they are interesting to hear from. The line “they were filled with fury” caught my attention and I was even more intrigued when two other translations read “And they were filled with madness/And they were full-filled with unwisdom.” Filled with fury can make one feel and sound powerful, but the other two translations point to the source of fury: madness and unwisdom (old-fashioned use of the word but has clear meaning). Spiritual writer Thích Nhất Hạnh, in his book Anger, invites you the next time you are really angry to look into a mirror and ask yourself if you look powerful or ridiculous. Anger seduces us, tricks us, and ultimately empties us. It is madness.
Notice what anger did to the people in the story today. It tricked them into thinking they were a community (they discussed with one another) when they were really just a mob plotting harm. It is so interesting to note that they talked about what they might do to Jesus. What if they planned how to talk more, argue more, with Jesus? But their anger needed fuel so Jesus was the wood and to talk and engage him further could have brought some kind of resolution and that was not in anger’s best interests.
So the lesson here is that if you really want to be angry with someone today be sure to avoid them. Don’t talk to them, meet with them, or think of them. Be sure to spend time only with people who share the same feeling you do. Under no circumstances examine your own heart and motivations and for heaven’s sake don’t even think of praying for them. If you do any of those things you just might lose your anger and then where would you be?
Prayer: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. In Jesus name. Amen. (Prayer of St. Francis)
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].