Last night I was reminded of another Casting Crowns song that I haven’t heard for a while. It’s called Somewhere in the Middle (check it out on youtube here) and the lyrics of the chorus are:
We’re fearless warriors in a picket fence
Reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
Deep-water faith in the shallow end
We are caught in the middle
With eyes wide open to the differences
The God we want and the God who is
But will we trade our dreams for His
Or are we caught in the middle?
Are we caught in the middle?
And as I read the Bible preparing for tonite’s blog, it occurred to me that the people of Israel were often in this ‘caught in the middle’ stance in their faith. As we continue to look at the story of the wise men, we find these words:
King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.
He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked,
“Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”
“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:
‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,
for a ruler will come from you
who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”
Matthew 2:3-6 NLT
It’s the first line of this passage that has caught my attention. Everyone in Jerusalem was disturbed that the wise men had discovered the birth of the Messiah. And I think it is because in their faith, they were caught in the middle.
They wanted God to send a Messiah who was a strong king, or a mighty warrior with a sword in his hand. And I suspect they weren’t all that thrilled that when God came to dwell among us, He did it quietly, as a little baby. I suspect they were even less impressed that the folks who figured it out weren’t the priests and teachers of the law, but a bunch of lowly shepherds and some foreigners.
That was not the God they wanted, though it was the God who IS. I have sympathy for the people of Jerusalem. Because I find myself so often caught in the middle, also. It’s so easy to start to make God over in MY image of what God should be, rather than standing back and seeking the God who IS.
Join me, if you would, in asking yourself over the next few days whether you are caught in the middle.