“The word of god is…sharper than any two-edged sword!” – (Heb.4:12)
What a hopeful, and scary at the same time, proclamation of the Lord in this verse from Hebrews that we hear this weekend! Indeed, it is hopeful to know nothing stands in the way of the Lord’s word, and yet at the same time, such a verse is also a wake-up call from the Lord to let us know he is trying to break through any barriers we too may have set up, or held onto, between us and him.
The Lord’s word can cut through any barrier, whether we have created it or someone else has, or whether it is something that has simply happened in life. The Lord always chooses to enter into life with us no matter what stands in the way. All he asks is for us to allow his word to penetrate our lives and to touch our hearts to connect us even more to him and his life.
So where have you allowed the Lord to get through to you where you had not let him before, or where have you allowed him to “cut into” some area of your life that you have held back from him? Let us ask God to help us name what it is that we truly need to let go of, or to “cut out”. And, let’s be honest – what do we really need to let go of, what do we hold onto too tightly, what do we honestly need to admit stands in the way of following the Lord and reaching out in love to all people?
Jesus offers us his word and his love to help us let go of whatever it is we hold onto, etc. Jesus wants to free us from what holds us back, to enable us to be free of all those things that box us in or divide us. And yet, we often still hold back, or often may be the ones who likely do not even admit what it is that we need to be released from.
Are you into swords? Even if not, just know the Lord is willing to cut into anything that hold us back – if we let him. All the Lord asks is that we open up our sins to him, that we open up our limitations to him, that we open up our weaknesses to him, that we open up all those things that stand in the way of moving forward.
So, why is it so hard for us to admit what we need to let Jesus cut out of us? We definitely want Jesus to smooth out the path of life, and to cut out the bad and the painful things, the hurtful things, and even the blocks that stand in the way. But, often we are not so open to asking him to enter into our lives enough so as to cut something out of us. We want Jesus to fix it, but we struggle to allow him to free us from what holds us back – after all, that implies we admit honestly what it is that stands in the way of our moving forward, or reaching out to others in need, or forgiving another, or avoiding evil, or…
Jesus will not hurt us using his “two-edged sword” – but he will free us. Jesus will free us. But, then, only if we allow him to. How many times do you think Jesus has to put his two-edged sword on our sore spots or diseased areas of life before we allow him to get us past such?
Jesus is definitely a “cut up” in the best sense of the word – even though it may not feel like it. None of us likes to admit we are part of a problem, to be sure. But, we sure can be. Or how will we ever get past what holds us back? Others can often stand in the way of progress and they need to make better choices for sure, but then so do we. Not always easy to do. Let us allow the Lord to free us from all that would hold us back! And may we allow the Lord to help us name what his sword can set us free from!
John E. Krumm is a Pastor of St. Brigid Catholic Church in Xenia and guest columnist.