So in 1 Maccabees Ch 13 we have the story of the brothers
Judas then Jonathan and now Simon
Every one of those brothers is pretty remarkable when it comes to battle
They have fought back and here is the new INDEPENDENT SOVEREIGN NATION OF JUDAH
Essentially the INDEPENDENT SOVEREIGN NATION OF ISRAEL, you might call it
It is in Judah in the city of Jerusalem
They have FREEDOM (You know I had to do this....Braveheart - They can take our lives, but they will never take our freedom 😉)
THIS IS REMARKABLE!!
This is one of those things we need to note
For over 100 years the people of Israel had their own sovereign nation
Because they fought against the Greeks and the alliances around them
Not only were they willing to do that, but they also fought in such a way that they WANTED TO KEEP THE LAW
You see this today with Simon who is going all over the place
As he goes to places like Gazara, the Citadel in Jerusalem
He says, “Yeah, I’ll spare your life, but you have to leave.”
Because they were not FOLLOWING THE LAW
They were not LIVING THE COVENANT
For us, that can be really troubling
Because we are like, “Well, that sounds like a THEOCRACY!”
At the same time, YES IT KIND OF IS
Here is what God had called his people to belong to Him, to FOLLOW THE LAW
As Christians, we do not believe in a theocracy
As Christians, we believe….well yes, the Church is the theocracy and we belong to the Lord
Civilly speaking, we don’t have that
What we DO have is OUR OWN LIVES GOVERNED
Theocracy is governance OF THE PEOPLE BY THE RULES OF RELIGION
Ultimately, by God and those who enforce God’s Law as they see it
We do have a theocracy in the Church
WE ARE GOVERNED BY THE LORD
NOT BY THE CIVIL AUTHORITIES
NOT BY THE CIVIL LIFE THAT WE ARE LIVING IN
WE ARE GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF GOD
WE ARE GOVERNED BY THE COVENANT THAT JESUS ESTABLISHES IN HIS OWN BLOOD
WE ARE GOVERNED BY THE FACT THAT HE HAS POURED OUT HIS SPIRIT UPON US SO THAT WE CAN CRY OUT, “ABBA, FATHER!”
The HEAD of this MONARCHY is the LORD GOD HIMSELF
YOU have been made into SONS AND DAUGHTERS of this Lord God Himself
We can make as many connections between 1 Maccabees Ch 13 and our own lives
Keep in mind that what we are called to do is SURRENDER
We are called to SUBMIT TO THE LORD’S LAWS
We are called to LIVE OUT THE COVENANT that God has established with his people and with us
He has brought us into that
Hopefully that makes sense
Fr. Mike has been saying that a lot these last few days
Because 1 Maccabees is an historical book and does not necessarily give us a sermon
It just tells us what happens
Sirach definitely gives us a sermon
There is some INCREDIBLE...JUST….
Sirach 32:1, “If they make you master of the feast, do not exalt yourself; be among them as one of them…”
What kind of advice is this??
THIS IS AMAZING!!
This is a DAD speaking to his SON
Sirach 32:1-2, “...take good care of them and then be seated; when you have fulfilled your duties, take your place, that you may be merry on their account and receive a wreath for your excellent leadership.”
Sirach 32:3, “Speak, you who are older, for it is fitting that you should, but with accurate knowledge, and do not interrupt the music.”
A GOOD DAD giving some GOOD ADVICE!!
If you speak when you are older….yeah that makes sense
Also, don’t tell lies
Give accurate knowledge
Don’t interrupt the music!!
Sirach 32:4, “Where there is entertainment, do not pour out talk…” (YEAH!!! Don’t speak during the movie in a theater, people!!! 🤨)
We’ve all been in a situation like that
Maybe there’s a dinner or function or fundraiser and there’s a show
The person next to you wants to converse during the show
“Listen, someone up there is talking. Don’t do this. They’re playing a song right now! Don’t talk!!”
If only they had read Sirach Ch 32 they would have known not to do that!!
Sirach 32:5, “A ruby seal in a setting of gold is a concert of music at a banquet of wine.”
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL IMAGE!!
Sirach 32:7-8, “Speak, young man, if there is need of you, but no more than twice, and only if asked. Speak concisely, say much in few words; be as one who knows and yet holds his tongue.”
That is practical advice FOR ALL OF US to follow and to BE KIND TO EACH OTHER and to DEFER
That’s a big piece of this
Some of this wisdom in Sirach is, “Yes, belong to the Lord and live for the Lord and follow the Law.”
Another piece is, “Defer to the people around you. Recognize that they are significant. Recognize that THEY MATTER.”
This is one of the things that is at the heart of every one of our lives is this AWARENESS
As Christians, we realize that EVERYONE AROUND US MATTERS!!
EVERYONE AROUND YOU MATTERS!!
EVERYONE AROUND ME MATTERS!!
YOU ALL MATTER!!
EVERYONE LISTENING TO THIS BIBLE IN A YEAR PODCAST MATTERS!!
The fact that you are listening to the Word of God for 294 Days…
The fact that you are allowing God to shape the WAY YOU THINK, the way you SEE THE WORLD, and the WAY YOU ACT…
Because above everything else...
Even if there are people around you that treat you like you don’t matter…
YOU MATTER TO GOD!!
YOU MATTER TO US, THIS COMMUNITY THAT HAS WALKED AND JOURNEYED FOR ALMOST AN ENTIRE YEAR!!
YOU MATTER TO US!!
YOU MATTER TO ME!!
YOU MATTER TO FR. MIKE!!
FR. MIKE IS PRAYING FOR YOU!!
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER