Monday, September 5, 2011

Great stories

We don't always realize it, but Christians have amazing stories. I'm not talking about the addict who quits drugs. I'm not talking about the bigot who learns to love those who are different.

I'm talking about the dead ripped from the grave. I'm talking about the vile and treacherous being brought into the house of God. I'm talking about the Spirit of God himself transforming the slums that are our souls into places fit for the King. Read Ephesians 2 for more on that.

The problem is that no one seems to realize that. If Christians realized this, they would shine. They would sing for joy, they would dance in the streets--they would be those people who couldn't stop smiling. I think of the early church. The apostles get arrested for preaching. Then they're beaten, they they are released and told not to do it again.  As they go limping away from their beating, they're rejoicing.

Now someone has to be watching these guys walk bleeding and celebrating down the street and think either a) These guys are nuts (likely option) or b) what do these guys know that I don't?

Even if there are a million possible interpretations of why these men are acting like they are, the bottom line is that these you've got these believers who are utterly enthralled with the redemption that's been won and the role they have to play in it. Is that us? Is this our view of our faith? By and large, I'd say it's not.

The reason I don't think we Christians realize this is that the world doesn't seem to be getting even a whiff of this kind of testimony. They think of Christianity as something that costs you what is good about this life and only pays you back in the form of false hopes for eternity. If we were enthralled by our salvation, by the work of a God who would seek out his enemies and by the privilege of having a place in his household and plans, they might have some reason to doubt that. But the world sees us and they get a sense of what they'd have to give up and they think, "That just isn't worth it."

What an upside down world we're in where eternal treasure seems uninteresting and fools gold steals the show.

So what smothers our rapturous joy? What gags our exuberant songs? Is it hearts grown cold or hearts grown distracted? Have we heard the good news too many times or have we never really heard it?

The question for the day, or the month, or the generation: What's missing? I have my own ideas, but I'd be interested in what others think.

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