|Where's Our Song?
|Thursday, October 22, 2020|
Goodbye swimming pool.
Goodbye lawn chair.
Fall comes at an exorbitant price.
For me, one of the sadder summer losses is crickets. They speak peace to the troubled night and calm to the cacophony we call early morning. But as I take my sunrise walks in the second half of October, the cricket symphony decrescendos dramatically.
A few courageous critters sill scrape their wings and make the music. But as early morning temperatures dip into the upper 30s, the insect orchestra reduces to a few brave soloists.
When I hear one now, I smile big and walk gently toward the source of the sound, trying for a louder listening experience. Inevitably, I find the crickets go mute. You can't blame them for being terrified at the vibration of something hundreds of times their size.
Still, a few—a very few—can yet be heard. The season is late. The landscape is dark, and the conditions are cold. But they sing anyway.
These hearty crickets are a metaphor for the lifestyle required of Christians on the front edge of the end times. Meaning—the season is late. The spiritual landscape is dark. The conditions are cold—and getting colder. But we're called to "sing" anyway.
So let us:
Let us Sing!
|Thursday, October 15, 2020|
It’s one of the funniest lines—that never gets a laugh.
I refer to the safety demonstration from a flight last week:
Then the flight attendant rattles off this disturbing scenario: “In the event of a sudden loss in cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop down automatically. Reach up and pull the mask to your face—and breathe normally.”
Think about it. What could possibly cause a “sudden loss” in cabin pressure? A bullet through the fuselage? A blown out window? A severed tail?
There simply is no scenario that would result in a sudden loss of cabin pressure that would allow any sane and sober person to “breathe normally.”
But if sanity and safety are to be restored in the middle of a crisis—in the air, on the ground—or in our spiritual lives—breathing normally is exactly what we must do. Consider:
Feeling a sudden loss of cabin pressure?
“The Lord reigns” (Psalms 93:1).
Amen and Amen!
|I Sat in the Batmobile
|Thursday, October 08, 2020|
I sat in the Batmobile!
In case you missed it, the Batmobile made a stop in Hinsdale, Illinois. But I was impressed by more than the car itself. In an age of high crime and low trust, the dynamic duo simply left the Batmobile right on the street. Neither Commissioner James Gordon nor the Gotham Chief of Police was on hand to guard the iconic vehicle.
What was it like to sit in the Batmobile, you ask?
Impressive, frankly. From the bubbled Plexiglas windshield to the dash-mounted Detect-A-Scope, I was lost in the lore of Gotham City. I grabbed the Bat Phone (see photo), desperately hoping to speak with the Caped Crusader. But it was not to be.
How I wish Batman and Robin had shown up. How I wish they would show up now!
Isn't that what this world needs —a superhero?
We need someone ferociously fearless, unfailingly fair, and consistently courageous. We need someone who is genuinely humble—not one who merely pretends to be. And is it too much to ask that our Hero be kind to the core?
And here we leave the pages of DC Comics to ponder the ultimate Hero. No Bat Phone for this champion. He has better: uninterrupted communication with His Father.
Don’t look for a cape. But He did wear a crown—made of thorns.
Don’t look for Him in the Batmobile. You’ll see Him next on a white horse. Given Covid-19, the election, the hurricanes, and national unrest, I don’t think Jesus can come soon enough! Amen?
|Would Jesus Wear a Mask?
|Thursday, October 01, 2020|
Should you wear a mask or not?
It’s the Coronavirus conversation guaranteed to generate as much heat as it does light. But I wonder—would Jesus wear a mask?
Note that I’m not asking if masks are effective. I’m asking if Jesus would wear a mask.
The short answer is yes. I think it's clear Jesus would wear a mask—whenever it was either required by ordinances or by His desire to "look out for the interests of others." On what basis do I make such a claim?
When officials questioned whether or not Jesus paid the temple tax, He paid by producing a shekel coin in the mouth of a fish. In other words—He submitted to authority.
Romans 13: 1-2 urges,
Not a lot of wiggle room there, right?
In I Peter 2:13,14, we're commanded,
We miss the moral mark if we presume our “informed opinion” on an issue outweighs our need to obey the law—or allows us to set aside the conscience of another believer. But this is precisely what's happening in many churches. People who think masks are unnecessary are flaunting their "freedom." Those who feel the need to wear masks are enormously offended. I've known some to leave a church over the issue.
Personally, I can't stand wearing a mask. I dislike the feeling of not being able to breathe as easily. And the heat is no fun, either. But this is where our American individualism needs the corrective of God's Holy Word, like Titus 3:1,2:
That last phrase tells us where our hearts should be on this issue: "to be gentle and to show perfect courtesy toward all people."
Jesus never asked for my opinion.
But He does ask for my obedience.
|Shrill--and Getting Shriller
|Thursday, September 24, 2020|
Shrill—and getting shriller.
Such is the state of our digital demeanor. Have you noticed? Our public discourse is often just coarse. If you’re a conservative, every democrat is despicable. If you’re a liberal, conservatives are kooky.
Those who disagree with some of the data presented by the Climate Change crowd are “science deniers.” That’s right! They deny 100% of everything scientific. No middle ground—who needs it?
We have all but lost our capacity to disagree, let alone discuss much of anything with others. Civility is dead.
In our posts, texts, and media, we celebrate the crass, specialize in the snarky, and cherish the choice to demolish. What was once a stream of anonymous attacks from strangers in a chat room is now publicly endorsed online and on television.
We are shrill and getting shriller. Profanity—proudly used. Vulgarity—very in vogue.
This is hardly a surprising assessment of our secular culture. Unredeemed people will act in unredeemed ways.
But my concern is not so much for the wide wicked world out there as it is for the world inside the Church. I'm seeing an acceleration of Christians attacking other Christians for their views on the election, climate change, and social justice. Worse, we express our opinions with the same meanness as those outside the faith.
How in the world can we call any of this Christian? What makes us think our Savior would possibly sanction such savagery?
We are shrill and getting shriller, rather than kind and getting kinder. But please note. The song never says, “They’ll know that we are Christians by our tweets.” It’s our love, folks. That’s what we’re to be known for.
Shame on us!
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