Blog Archives

Worship for Barren and Empty Souls

Flatiron from Brown's Peak Saddle - Four Peaks...

Flatiron from Brown’s Peak Saddle – Four Peaks Wilderness (Photo credit: Al_HikesAZ)

Discussion thought of the Day:

“The wilderness is still the place of worship. (as it was for Israel)   But for you and me ist is a matter of dunes and dry ground.  In fact, it may be deceptively gree.  Our Hunger and thirst are more spiritual realities than physical ones.  The desolation we often experience involves our yearning for a more palpable feeling of the Presence of God.  We need spiritual bread every it as much as they needed the manna in the wilderness.  Our deep need for Living Water is as intense as any thirst their parch throats ever knew.
As so we look to the One whose coming incranated for us the Manna, the Living Waterand the presence of God.  Jesus has entered into the wilderness of our wilderness and found us…. ” (1)

In a few hours I will be mentioning this passage in class.  This morning – as most morning goes – the revelation that Michael Card mentions above was why we gathered for church.  And even there, as I preached about the bondage caused by sin, and talked about our helplessness and need for Christ, I could “see” those who were burdened for others or by their own problems.  We are, in many ways – so similar to Israel wandering in the desert – awaiting a promised land.

I wonder how many of us realize the fertile ground that exists in the desert – just a little water – and it blossoms with plants and flowers, incredible beauty – in the midst of what was thought to be barren.  It just takes the touch of heaven to bring it forth.

So to in our lives….I’ve seen it too many many times to count.  There is great beauty in the wilderness – there is a dance that comes from mourning, there is always life and reconciliation where we thought there was only darkness and despair.  The key… simply is worship – worshipping the One who invades our wilderness, who brings light into the darkness. Who comes with compassion and comfort.

And in that darkness, in that solitude – as we find Christ finding us… we find life – and a life that praises – that glories – that begins to recognize the healing brought to us. …

And oh – how we need it.  O how I need it – even though I know it is there…

If I can help you find it – this hope, this incredible mercy, this love and the presence of God, I would love to….

For as I see you find it – I am reminded it is there for me as well.

Lord Have mercy on us, and help us realize Jesus, that you have!

 

(1) Michael Card, The Sacred Sorrow – page 24

Super Heroes….always serve

Devotional Discussion thought of the day…

As I am sitting home sick, I’ve been catching up on superhero movies – reliving my childhood one would say… except the superheroes are far more technological, their challengers even more vicious, the battles far more …. critical, than the ones Adam West and Boy Robin faced. or Chris Reeves.

What they have  in common, these heroes of my youth and the heroes of this day.. they don’t become lords, they don’t govern, they simply serve…they work to bring health to their communities and peace, and indeed to protect them from evil.  Whether it is a global threat – or a child needing to be rescued from a tree, they are there.

There is something at a sub-conscious level that resounds and gets excited by the superhero concept, and I believe it is because we believe we are also threatened.  Threatened by a darkness that would consume us, enslave us, ruin us.  Sometimes that darkness is an external threat ( we often project this on… let’s say – a presidential candidate?  That is why we must vilify them, rather than just base it on issues) Sometimes it is an internal threat – the superheroes today often battle internal demons, (Dark Knight/Batman, the Hulk, Ironman etc) and the difference between Villain and Hero is slim, razor slim.

We have heroes in our midst, the apostles and ministers who reflect light into the darkness.  I don’t capitalize either of those words for a purpose – I am not talking about pastors and priests, bishops and other clergy.  I am talking about the people who are sent by God into the darkness of this world, to reflect the light,t he glory that envelops them, for they have found hope in Jesus. They are more than superheroes – for in Christ, they have become children of the Father, they have been united in Christ’s death and resurrection.  As they live normal lives, they become our heroes, as they pray with their kids, as they sing in the choir, as they help their neighbor and their neighbor’s family as they approach death, as they simply listen to that co-worker, whose life is broken, just as their lives were.. It’s the lady who teaches Sunday School, the musicians who arrive early, the people that greet with smiles and hugs.   They have been “apostled” sent into the place to serve, to minister, on God’s behalf.  Without thought of reward, but to give hope to the hopeless, to bring healing where there is pain, to bring love where there is hatred and apathy…

to bring Jesus, His mercy, His love, His glory….

Who are these superheroes?  Come to church on Sunday, and I will introduce you to some… and we’ll help you see that you are one as well….

%d bloggers like this: