Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.


May God be merciful to us and bless us, show us the light of His countenance and come to us. Let your ways be known upon earth, your saving health among all nations. Psalm 67:1-2

Something is afoot in the universe; Someone filled with transcendent brightness, wisdom, ingenuity, and power and goodness is about. In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, somewhere deep down a Voice whispers, “All is well and all will be well.” –Brennan Manning

A life of significance.

Jesus did not come so that we could have small tidy safe pleasantness. It wasn’t about a comfortable hobbit hole with six meals a day if we are lucky.

My readings this morning included a quote by Larry Crabb: I’ve been a follower of Jesus for more than 50 years, and my testimony is that I’m disillusioned. What I have understood to be a distinctly Christ-centered, biblically-informed approach to living does not seem to be transforming me the way I was encouraged to believe it would…I’m appalled, after all these years, at how untransformed I remain.

Brian Rice describes his “functional atheism,” believing in God, but acting as if everything was pretty much up to him. Or his phase as an Evangelical Deist, one who lives as though once the Creator God had designed the world and its operating principles, He pretty much stepped back, and the business of the day is to make sure one understood and followed as much as possible, the operating principles that God installed in His universe. If you did, then things would tend to work out for you.

Interestingly enough, this is almost word for word how the Muslim Chinese kid described Christianity in his Odyssey essay yesterday. He has been going to Desert Christian for five months now, and there was no talk of the person of Christ, or joy or power or peace or transformation or restoration. Nothing but following operating principles as much as possible in order to get to heaven, so hence he saw no real difference between Islam and Christianity. They are the same thing as far as he could tell, serving a powerful kind God with lots of good works and hoping it is enough not to go to hell.

Nicole has been sharing her Christian mystic books with me, and while their stories are more than a little quirky, and far beyond my comfort parameters, there is no confusing their priorities nor that they have experienced God outside of the Self masquerading as a relationship with the Almighty.

I long to know this Other, the Someone filled with transcendent brightness, wisdom, ingenuity, and power and goodness and what He is about.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!