“But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another,
‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” Matthew 11:16-19
Two weeks ago I spent Sunday morning worshiping with and teaching the youth group at St. Margaret’s here in D.C. I knew most of the youth from our time together this past summer on the ASP Mission Trip. I was invited to teach a class on prayer with the youth.
During the class we talked about how we talk with God…the language we use, what we say, and how we listen. The group was a bit shocked to learn that one can actually yell at God and be angry with God if that is how we honestly feel in the moment.
One can’t help feel the anger rising in Jesus as he describes the people he encounters in the reading from Matthew’s gospel above. Jesus is angry and he is not afraid to tell us why.
When was the last time you were truly angry with God? When was the last time you were that transparent in a conversation with God? God wants to be in relationship with us and wants us to be honest and truthful when we pray (hint: you can’t pull a fast one on the creator of the universe and lie about how you feel). Sometimes that will include being angry, or frustrated, or maybe even downright belligerent…and that is OK. God would rather have your raw and honest emotions than some charade where everything is “fine,” especially when everything isn’t fine or OK.
How wonderful is it that we have a God with whom we can be ourselves? How wonderful is it that God wants to be in relationship with us, to know us, to love us, and to be loved in return?