Our company said goodbye to a really good guy on Monday.
He was the husband of a wonderful wife, who is also with our company, and the father of two little ones. His death was a total shock, and appears to have been something like a freak brain aneurysm. This got me thinking…
Did this man have a meltdown at age 18, wondering what he was going to do with the second half of his life? Probably not.
Particularly when you are under the conviction that life is about so much more than yourself, it bears asking the question:
“If guessing the midpoint of my life is impossible, can I do anything more than take every moment to honor God, serve others, work hard, and love people well?”
No. No you can’t.
He was eating whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted it, in whatever quantity suited him at the moment. Then someone in his church small group explained to him what the word “gluttony” means.
She was a new Christian who lived a very normal life. She was working hard as a server at Chili’s, studying hard to get through nursing school, and living with her boyfriend of two years. Then her pastor preached about what the word “adultery” means in the Bible.
And then earlier this week I read Gods at War and the book showed me how my passions, money, time and affections show me what is truly ultimate in my heart. Now I look at the first Commandment a little differently: “You will have no other gods before Me.”
OK, maybe I was sinning already, but now that I’m aware, something has to change.
What was tugging at my heart last week as I read about the ritual slaughter of lambs? Why did it seem so much easier to give one’s best to God when all it took was surveying the flock and taking the best one to the Temple?
It was a weird emotion.
I knew in my head that I have a perfect Lamb, a perfect High Priest, and a perfect Temple along with a far better Covenant. So what was the strange attraction to the Levitical way? In a word…simplicity.
My daily sacrifice is my own life, (Romans 12:1-2) and ironically, that seems messier than just killing an animal.
Quick cultural observation:
As a real estate agent, I can’t help but notice that dining rooms are no longer in vogue. If families no longer need/want a room for dining, then it would be natural to assume that eating is becoming passe…
We are eating, but I would have to guess that the new visual focus of a group of eaters is the television, not each other. Yes, you could make an argument that this has been happening since the 50s, but at least here in Sacramento, CA, homes built as recently as the early 90s still have dining rooms.
So in 2014 we still eat; we’re just allowing relationship to fall into the background, perhaps.
It all makes makes me kinda sad. It seems something of the evening routine needs to be redeemed…thanks to TiVo, this shouldn’t be too hard!
Share a meal with loved ones this week, and comment here how it went!
I felt strongly impressed of the Holy Spirit a few weeks ago that I really should get back to writing out my prayers. It slows me down; it exposes how self-centered my prayers can be, and gives the Spirit room to direct my passions toward God’s glory and the Gospel’s advancement, instead of asking for small things and being satisfied playing with mud pies in a slum.
After some time writing this morning, I picked up the Sword to survey Christ’s utter holiness as communicated in Leviticus 1. I haven’t felt God’s presence so deeply in weeks. God is so patient with me when I am distracted by lesser things.
Even if you’re not a sports fan, it would be hard to miss all the excitement around the grand opening of Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (At least if you live in Northern CA) The $1.3 Billion home of the San Francisco 49ers is 1.85 million square feet and features enough solar panels to be declared “net neutral” as it relates to energy.
All of this hullabaloo makes me think of the temple that stood in Asia Minor which housed a large marble statue of Artemis of the Ephesians 2,000 years ago. The temple was several times larger than the Greek Parthenon, and was itself one of the 7 Wonders of the ancient world.
Carved of a single piece of marble and inlaid with an unknown amount of gold, the statue within the temple seems crazy to those of us looking back on the Roman culture and theology that included locals believing this deity was worthy of such resources.
Don’t label me a hater; I LOVE football. But what will people 2,000 years from now think about the resources used to build the temple to support the god of our own making, the regalia which indicates to which deity we owe allegiance, the time/energy/passion exerted in passionate worship, the lifted hands, raised voices, prayers, & ceremonial meals eaten as part of the tradition?
Some churches here in the States spent the 80s and 90s talking like it was a brand new cultural shift for people to NOT be a part of a Christian church. a.k.a. They were talking like a post-Christian culture was coming fast, as opposed to recognizing that it had long since arrived.
How old of a cultural institution, for example is Sunday Brunch?
Isn’t it this loud, unapologetic, “WE DON’T GO TO CHURCH. IT DOESN’T EVEN CROSS OUR MINDS.”?
I’m not complaining about Sunday Brunch. I want Christians to look into culture and figure out how, when, and where to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ in attractive, bold and humble ways. I wonder if a local church could host a Sunday Brunch that’s all about Jesus? Hmm…