“You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more ‘drive,’ or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity.’ [But] In a sort of ghastly simplicity, we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.” —C.S. Lewis
We all want a better world—in fact we really need a new one. Someday. Until then, the world isn’t the problem, rather it’s the people shaping it, who crave a perfect world while rejecting any perfect, benevolent, loving standard. That’s where Jesus’ followers come in. We aren’t Him, but God is making us to be as much like Him as anyone can in this messy world. He’s often hated—and that means we will be, too—He said so. But in a world of “men without chests” we bring a beating heart of purpose, love and salvation to an increasingly turbulent generation. Until He comes, we are what the world needs—because we bring Him, all of Him, plus nothing.
The world is starving itself. Bring the fruit.
Among the Jews is an old expression, “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.”* Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his friends.” Today we thank God for those men and women of the United States Armed Forces who stood in the obstinate gap between peace and violence and fell defending liberty, virtue and faith—defending us—and even saving the world.
*Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5; Babylonian Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 37a
A merchant once found something much bigger than America…
“I am a most noteworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvelous Presence.” —Christopher Columbus
Hyperbole? Sure. Poetry? Of course. Understated? Infinitely.
Could we with ink the oceans fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above
Would drain the oceans dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song…
—From a poem by Rabbi Meyer, Worms, Germany, 1096, adapted by F.M. Lehman, 1917
Definitely my Favorite.
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.
Sometimes God is hard to see. “Where is God in my darkness?” people cry, and understandably so. Yet even the night cannot contain Him…
“As the rain hides the stars, as the autumn mist hides the hills, happenings of my lot hide the shining of Thy face from me. Yet, if I may hold Thy hand in the darkness, it is enough; since I know that, though I may stumble in my going, Thou dost not fall.” —Alistair Maclean
He was there all along.
Had supper yet? Feast on this…
“I have learned…to let God be the mystery that He is and, with eyes wide open, to pursue Him, not with the precision of a crossword puzzle fanatic but with the reckless passion of a pilot flying into the Bermuda Triangle. Following Christ is a wild adventure full of risk, frustration, excitement and setbacks. It is not an evening stroll in a planned community along a well-manicured path…” —Larry Crabb
Let the adventure begin.
Have a great weekend…!