Ezra 7-10

I was ‘supposed’ to read chapter 7 with yesterday’s passage, but I didn’t read the plan correctly. Oh well.

Can I just say that “this Ezra” to be a fairly comedic line? I mean, his lineage is traced for 16 generations. That Ezra. You know, not one of those other Ezra’s whose lineage appears identical for 8-9 generations. I mean, three generations is enough, typically, to positively identify someone. But just to be sure, just to be clear, just to be absolutely precise, here’s 16 generations of descent. We’re talking about this Ezra.

I don’t know why this hits me so hard. I mean, it’s a small thing. But I can imagine some sort of debate happening somewhere in history that made this sort of clarity necessary. It seems like a waste of effort, a waste of time, a waste of attention to go into it like this. But that’s people, right? We can be so pedantic. We can get so caught up on the tiniest detail that we are willing to ignore the much more significant elements of the matter at hand. Until those details are cleared up to our satisfaction, no one gets to move on.

And it’s a different point for everyone. One person gets hung up on the color of the carpet. One person gets hung up on whether there’s a steeple or not. One person gets hung up on whether we all sit in pews or chairs.

One person gets hung up on the publishing house the curriculum comes from. One person gets hung up on whether we call it small groups, life groups, or Sunday school. One person gets hung up on whether the meeting is held at church or someone’s house or Starbucks.

Is it a Halloween festival or a harvest festival? Do the youth get couches or chairs? Does the pastor use a pulpit?

There are so many questions that completely miss the point. Is the work being done? Are we listening to the Spirit’s guidance?

And how often are the questions just a diversionary tactic anyway? A way to avoid addressing the issues we really have?

Does this Ezra have authority in Jerusalem? I don’t know. Did you marry someone you weren’t supposed to? I think whoever his father and ancestors were, you should probably listen to him.

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