In my time with the Father this morning, I read Zechariah 5. Strange chapter at first glance. The “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” chapter of the Bible. Seems like Zechariah ate too many poppy seeds the day he wrote this. There are huge scrolls flying through the sky, like those airplane banners you see at Myrtle Beach … only without the airplane. There is a woman named Wickedness held captive in a basket coming down out of the air. Then there are stork-like flying women who swoop down and extract the Wicked woman-carrying basket. Sounds like a bad trip!

Wickedness is taken away, which represents Jesus taking away the sins of his people. It’s interesting that the basket was taken to Babylonia, which represents the kingdom of this world in Scripture. This reminds me of when Jesus sent the demons from the possessed man into the pigs on the hillside (The story is in Mark 5:1-20.).

God’s people who had come back from Babylon had brought with them some of the wickedness of that land — the commercialism, greed, stealing, and lying that was prevalent there. In order for God’s people to be God’s people, that wickedness needed to be removed — sent back to where it came from. That wickedness was worshipped in Babylon. Only God was to be worshipped in Israel.

Aren’t you thankful that God takes away our sins? We can have a relationship with him because our Wickedness has been removed.

Maybe its not such a bad trip after all!

What kinds of wickedness has the Church absorbed or embraced from our culture? What have we conformed to from the pattern of our world? What’s in the basket?

What does God need to remove from your life, your small group, your church, and take back to where it came from?

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Michael Mack has been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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