Restrepo: Pay Attention to Spiritual Road Signs

Post a Comment » Written on June 25th, 2008     
Filed under: News
GREEN LAKE, WI (June 25, 2008) – Paying attention to the road signs in scripture and the lives around us will strengthen and make Christians more effective, Pia Restrepo preached today during the morning worship service at the 123rd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Restrepo is a missionary in Malaga, Spain, with the Department of Covenant World Mission.

Restrepo drew from Mark 12 in which religious leaders ask Jesus whether it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. The account, she said, is “a story of how flattery became an ironic reality that concluded in the shock and quiet of the religious leaders of the day, (who) ironically were Jesus’ enemies.”

Pia“It is a fishing story,” she added. “We have a saying in Spanish – el pez muere por su boca – the fish dies by its mouth.”

Restrepo referenced three types of road signs. “I had a terrible accident in Spain,” she said. “It is dangerous to drive in Spain because people are aggressive, and if you are going too slow, it is dangerous. It is a miracle story that I was not hurt, but I became very responsive to road signs and road rules.”

She likened the Ten Commandments to a type of regulatory signs, such as stop and speed limit signs. “They are followed to avoid accidents.”

Quoting from Psalm 19:7-9, Restrepo said, “The law of the Lord is perfect and preserves one’s life. The rules set down by the Lord are reliable and impart wisdom to the inexperienced.”

The religious leaders knew the word, but were not impacted, Restrepo said. “The religious leaders were shocked and silent because the law for them had been merely informational, not transformational.”

Christians also need to pay attention to the yellow warning signs. “We need to be alert and vigilant to discern people’s wrong motives, wrong intentions,” Restrepo said. “To be shaped by his word means to be prepared to speak or to remain silent – a tiempo y fuera de tiempo – in season and out of season.”

The men trying to trick Jesus were shocked and silent “because the Master’s answer was the product of the knowledge of the law, but also of the commitment he had for the truth and justice.”

The informational blue signs “inform you of places to rest, hotel, a place to eat, hospitals, emergency telephones,” she said. “Being shaped by the word means admitting that we need to find a nearby hospital for our soul, a place where we can be healed, listened to or just get some quiet time of solitude.”

Restrepo offered further suggestions on how Christians can be transformed by heeding the signs:
•    Yield or give the right of way to others that have gifts and perhaps are better than us.
•    Slow down on dangerous roads or in school zones such as businesses, surfing the Internet, and time with families.
•    Do not enter forbidden zones.
•    Watch out for the pedestrian crossing the street who needs your attention and time.
•    Pay attention for forks in the road. Is it time to make a decision? To change direction?
•    Be aware of two-way lanes. Are those coming in the opposite direction in need of listening to the word, of you being a witness?

Restrepo induced laughter from the gathering with a confession on why she changed the title of her sermon from “Stunned and Silent.” “I had to change it to ‘Shocked and Silent’ because I could not pronounce that stunned word,” she said. “Do not choose a title that you may not know how to pronounce.”

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