Our church garage sale had fancy glasses – real crystal. Beautiful. But stamped right inside, “24% lead”?! As someone who does not own any crystal, lead content was news to me. And sure enough, crystal contains and leaches lead. Using it regularly is dangerous (including an FDA warning).

As a child, probably from Home Alone (remember the Uncle, “that’s real crystal”, then he steals the salt and pepper shakers), I thought crystal was the height of fancy. At least for dishes. Add in a Lamborghini and a private jet… and life would be good.

But what my little mind thought was high living, was really dying. Not in a metaphorical sense, but in a brain shrinking, insanity causing literal sense. No need to be shot, drink that lead bullet.

“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life.” – John 5:39

So much of what we believe is wrong. Not just about fancy dishware. But all of life, from nature to politics, from relationships to faith… especially faith.

Jesus came to show us a new way. Of course the religious leaders rejected him — worried he would derail their way of life (John 11:48). And they were right, he did want to derail their way. But it was not to steal life, instead he wanted to save their life. Because their way was setting the table for the very destruction they feared (and it happened in AD66-70).

Now we, the church long established, face the same temptation. To protect our way of life – to uphold our place in society and demand our political power – or to follow Jesus. Our way is like a long drink from crystal… it looks good, but death leaches in. To avoid this, to derail our way and find the way of Jesus, is not to read more scripture. Though scripture is good. Instead the key is to act more like Jesus.

“These are the very scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have eternal life.” – John 5:40

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