Archive | April 2019

how small we are.

We know it.

But then we don’t know it.

As I write, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is burning.

A cathedral which took 200 years to build.

856 years old.

A landmark.

History.

Parisians were standing by helplessly. Even the firefighters.

There is so much that is bigger than us.

God in his mercy, did not create us to think about this all the time.

Yet, when tragedy strikes, we stop everything and remember

how small we are.

And while there is much pain and sadness at our losses, these things are tucked away in God’s heart.

Because the most important concern on God’s mind is how we relate to him.

On Good Friday this week, Christians remember how the Creator of the universe stepped out of his perfect, holy sanctuary to love the world in the form of a man, his son, Jesus.

We often give credence to the spectacular. It captures our attention.

But Jesus was born in a barn.

He died for sin. There was no other way for sinful man to be reconciled to a holy God.

When we are gripped with loss, God works it for our good, that we would remember

how small we are.

Image result for notre dame cathedral

cityam.com

 

 

imperfect church.

Questions asked, communication fails, walk away with empty hands,

and an empty heart,

“there is no perfect church”.

Memory prompts thoughts of past hurts made without apology with the oh-so-common response of “I’m not perfect”.

One is an answer to accept and the other side steps acknowledgment.

And it’s love that covers the failure because love your neighbor.

I’m sorry for the hurt you were caused by the imperfect church.

I’m sorry you expected more. Not perfection. Just more.

More hearing.

More compassion.

More understanding.

More grace.

More love.

The unconditional kind of love you would expect from God.

The kind you have heard about,

the kind you were told,

but didn’t see.

The imperfect church does not reflect a perfect God.

go and do the same.

Love is the one thing people want.

Love is the one thing God wants.

The world needs love because God loves the world.

Through Christians, love should be evident. Love should be the opposite of what people deserve because God loved the world despite what it deserved.

Here is what love is:

Patient.

Kind.

Protective.

Trusting.

Hopeful.

Persevering.

Here is what love is not:

Proud.

Jealous.

Boastful.

Dishonoring of others.

Self-seeking.

Easily angered.

God tells us this:

If it were possible, if one understands all the hidden mysteries of life, have all the knowledge that exists, execute enough faith to move a mountain, give everything they own to the poor, and sacrifice their body to death, but if they did not love, they are nothing.

We would say aren’t all these things proof of my love?

According to God, apparently not.

We can do all kinds of things for God and in the name of God, but not really love.

Love costs us something. It requires we treat others the way we want to be treated.

We can spin it however we want but God knows our heart.

The two greatest commandments:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”

“The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

God wants us to love him and love our neighbor.

The way we do this is we are patient, kind, protective, trusting, hopeful, and persevering.

The way we do not do this is when we are prideful, jealous, arrogant, demanding, dishonoring, self-seeking, and easily angered.

When the world looks at Christians, this is what they should see. We are lights in the world. We represent God’s love for the world.

Anything less is just noise.

Noise that sounds like cymbals crashing.

Noise that does not settle gently into a weary soul.

The way God came for you.

Photo by Saved by Grace (100% God, 0% Me) on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND