“All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes—all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the earth into a graveyard—into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance—then we become the gravediggers.” — Rod Serling, “Deaths-Head Revisited,” The Twilight Zone
The Jews are God’s people; the Bible is a Jewish Book; the Lord Jesus—Savior and Messiah—was the ultimate Jew; God’s covenant with the Jews and their Land was an everlasting covenant. Everlasting.
The devil, politicians and madmen have attempted to nullify this fact since the inception of evil and they’re not finished—yet. Which is why we remember and must not forget until our Jewish King returns and sets the record straight—something about sheep and goats at the end of the world…
Thank you for the provocation, Mr. Serling.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
There are some things ‘Mordor’ can’t touch—all darkness is fleeting. From everlasting to everlasting the star will shine in all its beauty. And us with Him.
His love endures forever.
Now that’s hope.
“When God alone is with us in the strange, trackless forests of what we really are, there is potential for us to do or say all sorts of unpleasant things. Take heart. Whatever those things might be, he will forgive us, as long as we extend the same courtesy to others.” —Adrian Plass
Forgiving others isn’t a tough as we make it—yes, as we make it. Jesus taught us how—minus a step that we added. To forgive someone isn’t to finally feel good about them, which is a terrible burden of often hopeless, if not disingenuous effort. If we’re waiting to feel good about our offenders, we’ll be waiting a really long time—God never told us to feel good about them. Whenever Jesus taught us to forgive others, He always used the same metaphor. Debt—like keeping a ledger. Jesus’ death in our place erased the ledger of every unplayable penalty we’ll ever owe God—and He did it when we weren’t even likeable—when we were His enemies—objects of His wrath and ungodly. Through Jesus He erased the ledger of our unpayable debt. When the Books are finally opened, they’ll be blank.
And that’s how we forgive our enemies—even the unforgivable. God doesn’t require us to like them, but to discharge their debt against us—yes, they did bad things, but they owe me nothing—not even an apology, forevermore. Like Jesus did to us.
Jesus said: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors…” Now ya know.
“I used to think people complained because they had a lot of problems. But I have come to realize that they have problems because they complain. Complaining doesn’t change anything or make situations better. It amplifies frustration, spreads discontent and discord and can invoke an invitation for the devil to cause havoc with our lives.” —Dr. Dale Robbins
Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you”. We have a lot to complain about in this turbulent world, but it’s hard to gripe when we’re busy making other’s lives better—like Jesus did.
Turn off talk radio and your smartphone and go bless others. I’m sure you will make God smile.
And so will you.
“Jesus was surrounded by [religious] men who made criticism their constant occupation while missing their opportunity to help the hurting, the hungry and the oppressed.” —Douglas R. McClean Jr.
In a turbulent world we can complain or we can serve; the first is about my offended sensibilities; the second, compassion for others—like Jesus in His turbulent world.
Complain, and none benefit; serve, and all are blessed.
Jesus said “Love your enemy—do good to those who hate you, bless those who cures you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27)
He didn’t say “feel good” about people who hate you. Do. Others—enemies included—are the recipients of our good deeds, not as a reward, but because when we were His enemies, God treated us the same way.
Aren’t you glad. Now bless your enemy.
The world is in trouble, but fret not—the church isn’t. The pressure is on, but it’s been on before. The world even tried to kill Jesus, and look what happened…
“Nothing can extinguish it. To the end of time it shall be there and shall always manifest itself, and men must never lose heart because of that. All [mankind’s ideas and struggles to create his own utopia] are absolutely worthless—the society in which utopianism is the great pursuit is the one who is about to commit suicide. The great guarantee that human life is always worth creating, always worth bringing into this world, always worth living is that there is built into it an indestructible awareness that life belongs to eternity and not to time. [This] shines with an incredible brightness in the one place in the world where you would not, under any circumstances, expect to find it surviving. The Catacombs.” —Malcolm Muggeridge, Firing Line #433, with W.F. Buckley, Jr., Sept. 6, 1980, PBS
Jesus’ followers can be driven underground, but what are catacombs if not bomb-shelters, illuminated not by oil or electricity, but by the songs of the saints.
Shine wherever you are.