12.12.2007

Even Better News!

So...I've had a revelation. It's a good one. It makes me feel better about the church, which I think is important. I think it will help me let go a little bit. Are you ready for it? Good. You better be.

It's about love.
and life.
Together.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”


So I've been wondering how loving God and being loved by Him ties into doing His commands and being zealous for Him.

There! In Deuteronomy! There is the key!

LOVE AND LIFE. LIFE AND LOVE.

mmk. So here is the deal. We've done a really crappy job of understanding what our Father has to say. These commands are indeed about making Him happy, but it is more about making ourselves happy, because that is what makes Him happy. Does that make sense? I'm hoping it does. I shall expound.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end of that way is destruction.

God has a list of things that--if they are fulfilled by us in our life--will bring peace and stability and love to our society. Don't kill, don't commit adultery, don't eat pork, take a break every once in a while.

These statutes are about freeing us from pain and disappointment. They are about helping us have guidelines for making good decisions and about leading us to a greater connection with others and with our God!

A lot of times, as Christians, we forget that it is all about love. We look at the list as a bunch of things that we must do to make God happy or to be on His good side and get into heaven, rather than an opportunity to get closer to Him. We shun others and we shun ourselves when we don't do them correctly, but if we realized the extent of amazingness of God's commands, wouldn't we drop everything to pursue them? They are about life--full life.

And I guess with that being said, we also have to acknowledge that we can't do everything on our own. That was the point of the Old Covenant. It was to tell God's people that they would never be able to have a full life on their own accord--that rather, He would send us a Balm, a Healer, a Counselor, Strong Tower and Friend to connect us to God and to life.

We, as humans, innately choose death.

Sugar
Inactivity
Spiritually disconnected Sex
Horror and death
Hate
Greed
Pride

That's just what we do. That is the Fall in our hearts. We have a need to be connected and the flesh and the world tell us that these things will heal us--satisfy us, please us, connect us. In these things we feel that we will find connection in the world. Acceptance and love.

Which only come from God.

And I suppose we're insatiable. That is what Moses was talking about in the book of Genesis with Adam and Eve. They had everything! A tangible relationship with the God who created them, any needs that they had met by the Garden, a connection with each other. But that wasn't enough. Just the whiff of something beyond their reach and they were climbing on a ladder to reach the top of the forbidden tree.

So we have a hole. Even with our needs met, we are inherently going to be reaching for more. And that is what Jesus is about. Having a relationship with Him is to help us embrace life.

And having the rules--more like guidelines--is to help us embrace life, too. Sometimes we can't feel His presence or see His face, but if we try to follow those commands, life will be better for us because we will be embracing life.

This has a catch that we've been feeling the effects of for the past 2000+ years.

These rules don't determine if God loves us or not. Yea, they determine if God is happy with you (and that didn't come out right, but I mentioned earlier--God's happiness stems from our happiness. I'm pretty sure He is elated when He sees His children making life-giving decisions, just as it greatly grieves His heart to see us scrambling for death to satisfy our desire to live), but they don't determine His love for you. He isn't punishing us (necessarily--keep in mind that He is just and that things happen and He intervenes...), but rather, when we don't follow His guidelines, the things that He says would happen will happen, because that is the way of the world, and those are just the consequences of our actions.

The Church--we as Christians, me as a little Christ--fall into this trap! Thinking that doing or not doing these things will make God extremely angry. I think it actually just makes Him really sad. Yes, God is just and things are going to happen as consequences to our sin, but we are not supposed to turn people away who need and want completion. We're all broken, we're all undone. We turn away people from church because they smoke or they struggle with homosexuality or they cuss. They don't fit in with what a Christian should look like, we say. They aren't following the rules that we try so hard to follow. We have more brownie points than they do. We have nice clothes and nice cars and we have food on our table, so we must be doing something right.

Agh! How much we've missed the point and turned into Pharisees! How I've missed the point and turned into a Pharisee! The Church is about love and completion. The rules are about love and completion. When someone messes up, we should be the first by their side, loving them into a more intimate connection with our God, instead of shooing them away and trying to clean their sin-stain from the seat of the pew on which they were sitting.

So that is all I had to say.

Not much, right? lol.

But there you go. Love, law, grace, life, freedom. Together, the way it should be.
Comments?

12.10.2007

Good News

So I think that I didn't do too poorly on my EVE 491 (or 410 or 490 or whatever the number is...Water...err...Process Chemistry...) exam, the presentation for TCO (Edison Lighting Solutions) went well, and Dr. Lackey asked me if I wanted to do research with her next summer! Yippee! That would be so much darn fun.


I felt like it was exciting, but even more than that, Laura Jane mentioned that it really is an honor to get a professor to ask you if you want to do research. I really like Dr. Lackey. I actually really like all of the Environmental professors. She (Dr. Lackey) even made it sound like the other professors were considering asking me, too.

I have an exam tomorrow.

I have friends.

I have a good life and the sun was shining today.

And I had a spicy black bean burger.

And life is good and I get good things that I don't deserve.

And God is good.

And I want to be more like Him.

I want to love Him more.

I want to be drawn in and to shed my shoddy ideas of religion and just run after Him.

Awaken me.

But first I shall take a nap.