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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|Last night I took a little excursion into theology; tonight, I will finish that excursion.|
The world is a vastly more interesting place because God has chosen to spread his gifts into odd and unexpected places, which provides us with a constant source of surprise--it allows us to see the world as "new", if only we have the sense to look for it on occasion.
But, as Christ made all things new through his death and resurrection, so too are we called to make things new. No, not in the same way as Christ, but instead, by being a light in the world. And a light that should not be "hid under a basket," but to shine forth and bring others to God. It was not through pure chance that Paul Potts was able to make his gifts known--somebody provided that opportunity for him, and his passion made it possible. Whether that person (perhaps Simon Cowell?) made that opportunity for a God-centered reason, of whether it was simply their pursuit of commercial gain which God made "new" by placing Paul Potts in that moment is irrelevant--the beauty shone forth regardless.
We are all capable of similar things. Whether it is the simple kindness of helping someone we see in need, or the greater things like providing forums for our talents to shine out, or whether it is in the great efforts of vast ministries to the poor and to soldiers returning to their homes. As during Christ's Passion, it does not need to be anyone "anointed" to do the deeds--simple people doing what must be done.
But, as Mark D. Roberts points out in this series, being a light is not always easy. Eleven of Christ's disciples ran from him; many who attempt to simply live their Faith face scorn and derision; and all over the world our brothers face far worse for merely gathering together and naming the Name of God. It is not a simple matter to let our light shine forth, as we are called to do.
But, as Pastor Roberts also points out, we actually have a very good reason to do just that:
Jesus has conquered the fallen world and is in the process of finishing up what His death and resurrection began. Not even death, however painful it might be, can steal away our hope.
There is no lasting sort of scorn that we can endure for God's sake, just as there is no lasting sort of glory to be had for successfully avoiding the same--this is all quite transitory. It will all go away before long, and we will be able to meet our Maker and be made truly "New" again for all eternity. The belief in God should give us a freedom to be honest and to be forthcoming and to be generous and to be merciful without ANY thought of what the world thinks.
What a cool idea.
My father gave me a book to read a while ago called "The Fathers of the Church." In it were profiles (based on historical documents) of dozens of the early Saints of the Christian Church, and, in most cases, there was also included an excerpt of their writings. It is a fascinating book for those so inclined--the takeaway for me was that the survival of he Christian Church past the second century may be the greatest miracle of all time! At any rate, I was struck by the number of times the early Saints spoke of martyrdom in glowing, longing terms. We've become so used to, in these days, thinking of martyrdom as something preceded by a heinous murder via bomb vest that I think we forget how many of our forefathers (and sisters) were original martyrs in the real sense of sacrifice and persecution. They all had a sort of careless courage that came from believing with their whole hearts in the greater life to come.
So if great minds like those can have courage in the face of horrible death, what's a little disagreement to do to us these days?
This is a long-winded way of saying that, while I'm certain (as I said last night) that I would have been no different from the disciples on that particular night two centuries ago, perhaps it will suffice for me to uncover my light and illuminate the world in my small way today.
There are, by the way, implications in this for this puny little blog. More to follow in the days and weeks . . .