As our country deals with the difficult and complex issues, we seek security! Social security, national budget, cooperation on our nations’ direction, all these issues will take cooperative effort over a long period of time. These are all on our minds, and rightfully so. As we seek security in the programs that we depend on, we could lose sight of how to find ultimate security. We live, work, and play in a sea of human relationships and networks. We work toward finding common ground and the best solutions possible. But if this is our only security, then we are not very secure! As we listen to the voices of scripture, we hear the prophets foretell of the coming security of a coming King. Christ came to bring us a security that we seek but do not fully find from human sources. We may ask for our Lord to give us security, but he wants us to know that he is our security. There is a difference. We find a level of security as our Lord helps us in our human relationships, but it is in realizing our security is in the person of Christ that we find the peace in trusting him. Peace can grow among our brothers and sisters, as we trust him, but on this side of heaven is perfectly found only in the person of Christ. Let us not stop seeking peace and security in our society, while realizing that Christ is the one on whom it is found!
Saturday, November 24, 2012
“I need some space!” You might hear this from someone who wants you out of their personal space so that they can have some alone time. We are created as people who have both needs, social and personal. We are healthiest with some of both, a balance. In the world around us, we have relational space everywhere we go and in all we do. The time and ‘space’ can be used to relate for different purposes. Some spaces are used by habit for particular purposes. We go to public spaces with people to socialize, to relate to each other. We create space for purposes. David had the desire to create sacred space for worshipping God. The tabernacle, the temple, the synagogue, the house church, and the modern church are all examples of making space for the sacred- relating to God, and God relating to us, together, relating to each other in the presence of God. But sacred space is always in transition! The tabernacle arose out of the need to have traveling sacred space for a traveling people. The temple was a located sacred space for a more located people. The house church developed, the modern church developed, and is still developing. Anywhere we gather in the name of Christ, we create sacred space. Today we have a challenge as God’s people: will we be able to think creatively about how we create sacred space? Can we not only come away into the places that we have known as sacred, but go out and make sacred the places and spaces where the sacred can be accessible? I trust that we all can allow ourselves to ponder this, and see the opportunities around us for making space for the sacred to unfold.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
In our world of compromised motives and actions, the real mystery is the uncompromised promise we have of love and faithfulness. In the Old Testament book of Ruth we see every character with flaws and double-speak conversations. People say one thing, imply another. They misspeak what others have said for their own advantage. Basic human dignity is compromised by unjust social, religious, and relational systems. Even the motives of God come into question, even if by mere implication. For example, the story begins with Bethlehem, ‘house of bread’ that has no bread. In a world where support for family comes from the man, all three major male characters die and leave three women without the support system upon which they for the most were forced to rely. The social and religious system for dealing with support of widows shows itself to be manipulated for personal gain. The mother and daughter-in-law relationship is one of manipulating each other (not that this is totally unimaginable!) The list goes on. We can relate to the situation of compromised motives and ethics in our world today. If we truly believe that ‘all have sinned and fallen short’, then we can see that it is truly amazing that we have the unconditional love relationship of our heavenly Father! How our Lord redeems our lives and our multiple issues is enough to inspire us to have faith and hope for our future! How is it that our nation, our church, our lives can be redeemed? Only through the only one who is uncompromised: our Holy God!