The Capernaum Reality
I think of this day, however, as another anniversary, the 35th, this one of the day when I heard arguably the most sobering message from the pulpit I'd ever heard. Yes, it happened to be on September 11 too. I'd written about it in some length with this blog post from ten years ago, but here's just a bit about it and why I'm augmenting it with a brief post here.
The first half of the message was about how wonderful Jesus' home small city was. Capernaum was the name of the place, nestled nicely right there on the northern shore of an idyllic sea, Galilee. There Jesus was doing His healing thing, His delivering thing, and His preaching thing -- and please, I do not mean to make light of any of that. But that is part of the point. Everyone was thrilled.
My silly little young-adult mind was racing with a funky ebullience. I'd never known about any of this. Capernaum was like an extraordinarily delightful Christian theme park. Lots of cool rides, shows, food, fun, graphically arranged mythologies upon which to marvel.
But there was no repentance.
There was no reckoning with reality, no grasping the magnitude of one's imminent journey on a fully greased slide to Hell, no understanding of one's abjectly filthy iniquitous condition and then from that gobsmacked by the mercy and grace and lovingkindness of a God who gave everything even in light of those horrors affecting not only your eternal destiny but that of every single individual who ever lived.
That was the second half of the message.
Just coming upon the middle the eleventh chapter of Matthew.
Jesus starts with Chorazin, then moves to Bethsaida, and finally comes to his own home small city Capernaum. All beautiful small cities with beautiful buildings and roads and landscaping and shopping. Annnd worship assemblies and conferences and concerts with the very best Christiany kinds of songs being sung for the very best good-feels. I'm sure there were those kinds of things too, and the pastor who shared his Capernaum message mentioned this as well.
In that sense, it wasn't much different from our small cities.
Ahem. Then verse 20 in that 11th chapter.
I can't believe that several people didn't just take off after that, after Jesus said such heinously judgmental things like that. I have to think it was like what happened when Jesus sounded just a biiiit too judgmental in the sixth chapter of John -- you remember, "Eat my flesh, drink my blood," I mean that's just gross! Lots of His best friends had just had enough. But let's face it, Jesus does say pretty clearly that on that last day when we are all standing before the judgment seat of God, it will be more bearable for Sodom than it will be for Capernaum.
I mean, it is almost comical to use the word "Ouch," because the judgment on these places -- and its people -- will be so severe and final.
Note too the reference to Sodom, which we all know was judged for its sexual immorality most notably related to anything people today call LGBTQ. Today some high-minded Christian-like individuals try to dissemble all of that and say it really wasn't that and it was really something else...
So we can still all boast about how good and wholesome and righteous we all are!
So that even if we don't participate in the "pride" parade we can loudly virtue-signal about how tolerant and inclusive and splendidly wonderful we all are to these poor people!
I'll confess, that posted graphic is of a very nice small city in Vermont, and I love cities like that. I want to live and work and play and vibrantly interact with others there. I'm not making any judgment about the people there, I can't, that is God's job. It is the law's job. That picture is just there as a stock photo of any place that may very well be a modern-day Capernaum.
The more I read, the more I see how much Rome is indeed doing the work of Cain's Legacy and has done so through the ages. So few people realize that what is happening in our world all around us was done in some form eons ago, it just looked different. I am overwhelmed by the evidences of how much people revel in the ministry of sin and how much people use the ministry of condemnation against them and how much both of those things are all about Rome's legitimate business -- and how much all of it is made to look like a wholesomely good diversion or a grand Walt Disney distraction or nowadays an "A.I." generated simulacrum that let's-face-it is just that much better than anything that is actually real.
It's always has been this way, for millennia.
I have note after note after note to make mention of so much of it, but it is overwhelming. I don't have time. My ministry is in so many other places. But with this blog -- and over in my webzine -- I hope my readers will see the Capernaum reality. That Christ's massive Kingdom-full mercy outdistances any judgment that justifiably comes against any evildoer.
But you've got to see it and want it.
I like this ministry I have here -- I want to share more. I will. I just say that because I don't want to be seen as cutting out because I had intended to share this and that and this and that. But ::whew!:: Then again, I so wrestle with this! As I shared in my last post, and in other places recently: what is the point when none of it penetrates the soul? I want to be a good insightful commentator, but I'm afraid I do join Tupper Saussy being discouraged when dismissed as a titillating circus barker. The former moves the worst of us like those in Nineveh listening to Jonah to genuinely repent and desire vibrant Kingdom dwelling...
The latter is just considered one of the many spectacularly spiffy blappers in Capernaum.
For now I invite you to first above all, read His words. Read them more. Read them again and again and again and never stop. Then there is my humble work at my modest webzine, only to point the reader to those words and to His Kingdom. Go there. Ask Him to lead you out of the benighted comforts of that small city. Not physically mind you! Stay there with your good strong body to minister Him and Kingdom to those who also may want out of the World!
But hand your soul to Him, and store anything you think is valuable in Heaven.
So much I wanted to add here, but it is a lot. Just for next time. Thank you for your readership.