The Pondering Pastor

These "Ponderings" originally appeared as articles in our church newsletter or bulletin or just as the musings of one bald pastor. I place them here to encourage you, my fellow blogite and maybe to help us all in our pondering.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Point Proved, Once Again

It is pushing mid-night as I type out this blog. It shall be 3:30 in the morning by the time my head hits the pillow. I am not plagued by sleeplessness, in fact I am doing my best to keep my eyes open. What keeps me at this late night vigil is the reality that I have been "chosen" to drive the kids home after the mid-night release of the new Harry Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." Such a nice (read that "sucker") dad I am!

Anyway, as I was reading, drinking some white tea, and doing my best to stay awake, I was struck by the thought that once again I have been proved right. People will go to crazy lengths to be involved in the latest pop-culture phenomenon.

We will buy tickets days in advance, stand in line for hours before (in the middle of the night, no less) and sit elbow to elbow all so that we can say we saw it first. A movie whose ending most of the watchers know (they read the book). A movie that will most likely be in theaters for a few weeks. A movie that will soon enough be out in Blue Ray DVD (fully interactive with secret deleted scenes!)

Sadly, what really grabs me is that we think all of this worth the effort, but to get up early n a Sunday to gather with others to worship the Creator of the universe is somehow rather droll. Oh yes, I know that our local Sunday morning worship service can in no way compete with the whiz-bang of a Harry Potter movie, we are rather dull in comparison. But, and I say this with all due respect to Harry Potter fans (or Starwars and Star Trek) everywhere, it's just a make-believe movie.

Things really have not changed over two millennium, even the people of Jesus' day desired to see more "special effects" than to deal with the needed truth. (John 7:21-24, Matthew 16:1-4) I suppose people, myself included, will always been drawn to the exciting, the titillating. Our ears will burn with the desire to hear the latest tidbit of cultural drama. We will turn our eyes toward that with the brightest marque.

But here's to hoping we could grant the same desire and excitement to the One who is the Truth, to the One who said, "Let there be light," and there was. Here's my prayer that someday we would arise with eager excitement to gather to with others of like heart to stand in holy silence before the only One who is worthy of true worship.

Well, a guy can hope...

and pray...

Friday, July 03, 2009

A Love/Hate Relationship

SOMETIMES I JUST WANT TO KILL those blasted deer that raid and pillage my garden!!! Then there are times I just sit and watch with wonder as they stroll along, mom and two fawns. Yes, it is truly a love/hate relationship, and that works for those little furry squirrels that destroy my bird-feeders!

It’s this love/hate relationship that drives me crazy. If I didn’t really care for the critters I would do something drastic to them, but I really do care for them…I just want them to go eat somewhere else! To rewrite a turn of phrase, I want them to have their cake, and I want to eat mine too. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so.

That seems to be the problem in so many areas of life, even in my relationship of following Jesus. There is this love/hate relationship. As Jesus says in John 12:25, I must hate this life if I am to truly bear the fruit that declares my love for God. I cannot have it both ways. Jesus calls us to death so that we can live. Truly, I would like to have it both ways. But, as Jesus illustrates, a seed must die to itself if it is to accomplish the goal for which God has designed it. What is true of the seed’s God-design, was also true of Christ’s God-design, and must be true of the Christ-follower.

This hating of life is not a loathing of our existence, but rather a loving of that for which we were created, and of course a greater loving of the One who created us. The seed, in dying for what was created, experiencing a greater glory that it could have never experienced had it remained only a seed among other seeds. Maybe this is what Jesus was referring to when He said that we would share in His glory, if we followed Him in His death. (John 17:10, 22; Romans 8:17)

Is truly a love/hate relationship. The question is who do you love?

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