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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Starting a blog...

Hey, friends. So here we go, I'm starting a blog. Never thought ...bla..bla...bla. Doing this for Sunrise Community Church and anyone else who happens to stumble upon this page. It's mostly going to be thoughts on God, what He says, culture, random you-decide-if-they're-funny musings, and perhaps a photo every once in a while. That's all. I'll start with something I wrote on Facebook not too long ago...

Don't you (da-da) forget about me...

The title of this particular post comes from the most famous song in perhaps the most famous of 80s movies -- The Breakfast Club. I guess the hidden message of this #1 hit by The Simple Minds was: "Please don't forget about me" --Signed Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Emilo Estivez, Anthony Michael Hall, & Ally Sheedy. Only history will tell us whether or not....nevermind, we officially forgot about you. (Except for an older friend of mine who still harbors a secret crush on Molly Ringwald...she was SO right place right time IMO).

For the purposes of my post, I use this song as a simple cry from my soul that often times creaks out when I'm challenged to get caught up into the great, grand will of God. "Don't you...forget about me."

The God of the Bible, let's face it, challenges Christians to some daunting tasks in response to His love towards us. We are called to make it a habit to be in consistent fellowship (Hebrews 10:25), which means frequently opening up our lives to others. We're called to use our gifts to serve the church (1 Corinthians 12). We're asked to "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). We're asked to be renounce all we hold onto to follow Christ (Luke 14:33). Of course, there is much more (see the entire Sermon on the Mount for instance...).

With these kinds of big demands, there's a part of me (no doubt an untrusting and slightly selfish part of me) that wonders: Will I be taken care of? Lord please don't you forget about me.

Reading Luke 1 recently helped restore my trust in a God of the great, grand, unfolding plan of His Glory AND a God who is gracious and tender toward the individual (and yes, in case you were confused, it's the same God).

Without repeating it verse-by-verse, let me give you a quick re-cap of Luke 1: 5-25:

A Jewish priest, named Zechariah, is visited by the angel Gabriel. Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth have been unable to have children. She's barren and long in the tooth. The angel Gabriel tells Zechariah. Informs him that they will not only have a son but he will have special role in Israel's history (see John the Baptist). So when Elizabeth finds out, she reveals what was surely a long and painstaking desire for children when she says: "Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people" (Luke 1:25).

In the face of trying to obey in God's great but sometimes "hard to make sense of" plan AND the lingering worry: "Will you forget about me?", these verses helped restore my trust in the God of the great, grand, unfolding plan of His Glory (see John the Baptist as the propesied forbearer and preparer to the Christ-- see Malachi 4 and others) and the God who is gracious and tender toward me (see how He carried out His grand scheme through personal attentiveness and graciousness towards an old couple who loved their God and desired a child in their inmost hearts).

The God of the Great.Thank You, Lord, for being the God of Job--who answered Job out of a whirldwind and revealed Yourself and Your ways to be well of above the understanding of finite man (Job 38-41 -- and to whom Job replied: " plan of yours can be thwarted" [42:2]). An answer needed not only by Job but, in Your grand plan, by many who questioned your justice -- including the apostle Paul (see Romans 11:33-36). Thank you, Lord for being the God of Abraham, through whom you would bless the nations of the world (Genesis 17). Thank you for being the God of Paul -- whom you appointed to bring the gospel of grace to the Gentiles while suffering doing so (Acts 9: 15-16).

The God of the Small. Also, thank You, Lord, for being the God of Job -- whom You blessed with twice as much as he previously had as well as providing him with a consoling family (Job 42: 10-16). Thank You for being the God of Abraham -- whom You blessed with a child despite mixed faith and significant doubt (not to mention doing it in his & his wife's old age & her entire life of barrenness - Gen. 21: 1-7). Thank You for being the God of Paul -- to whom you whispered tenderly, while he struggled to carry out his mission to the Gentiles: "My grace is sufficient for you; for my power is made perfect in weakness" (II Corinthians 12:9).

I wonder if there are others out there like me. God's BIG, revealed will lingers in the back of your mind -- but you struggle: Will I be taken care of?

The 15th century theolgian, Angelius Silesius, was so convinced of God's outward-looking, indvidual person-attending love, he audaciously stated: "If God stopped thinking of me, he would cease to exist." I cannot allow myself to agree with this statement but I do find myself nodding my head as to the passionate motivation with which it is said -- a man who is so convinced that God deeply and passionately cares for each need, each desire, each aspect of His child that that he believes it to be one of God's primary characteristics. Thus, this cat's comment resonates with me.

I think perhaps the prophet Isaiah best encapsulates the reality of God's glory & His lofty plan AND His concern for the lowly man who simply trusts in His will & tries to live it out:

"For this is what the high and lofty One says--

He who lives forever , whose name is holy:

'I live in a high and holy place,

but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit,

to reveive the spirit of the lowly

and to revive the heart of the contrite' " (Isaiah 57:15).

I can smile again when I pray (or in some cases sing): Don't you (da-da) forget about me.

Sola dei Gloria.