Over the past month we have stayed with a Salt Shaker theme, based out of the book of Romans. Since I have been so tardy in posting this update here is a quick review. First week, “Who are We?”, pulling on Paul’s lament that he knows good and yet does the evil. The second week, “Torn Away”, jumps into the new reality we have in Christ. Our evil self has been torn away and we have been made holy… Which leads us to the next Plunge and I must say, my all time favorite picture creation…
“Becoming an Astronaut”
The old self has been torn away, but now what? … I recently sent a message on Facebook to a few students. One of them responded with her cell phone and the only thing that came through was “n\n”. I accused her of disrespecting me with a txt language I could not understand, but she apologized and wrote she did not know what her phone was doing (this message also ended in “n\n” ~ I suppose that her phone was slowly coming to life). This brought on a whole series of comments (see the picture), with everyone back and forth. Even the cell phone adding its bits to the discussion…
A few months before this I reconnected with an old friend on Facebook, to say that he accepted my friend request. He had been a big influence on my life in High School and helped me arrive into ministry. So I wrote a long message about how much he had meant and asked about life with his new church. Then I waited for a reply… and am still waiting.
Jesus has come and the world has been turned upside down. When we accept His call our sin is torn away, but the call does not end there. Instead, the call is just beginning…
To often we rejoice at the coming of Christ. At the prospect of salvation. We run down the aisle and are baptized. And in the next moment we sit twiddling and soon find ourselves trying to reattach the old self. But, the walk down the aisle was only the first step. We are on a journey to ever deeper relationship. A journey that will require us to respond! If we do not… well that is not relationship.
It is the difference between my Facebook messages. In one everyone was active participates. But in the other… I poured my heart to no avail.
The call to follow rings out to us, every moment of everyday. This is what it means to be Christian. We are not bound by the law, but by relationship. By following Christ we become more that conquerors!
Ivy has started playing soccer, but her under four team has absolutely no idea what they are doing! It is three on three chaos, where teams will often score in the wrong goal. Where out of bounds has no meaning, but requires the coach to chase the players down! Take the pictures:
In the first, Ivy grabs Lily’s hand and they skip to the other side of the field – in the middle of the game. In the second, before the kickoff Ivy and Asher practice kung-fu moves. In the final, Ivy has her snack – possibly the most important part. Certainly more important than winning!
(One moment we missed on camera was the opening kick-off. Ivy kicked the ball around the other team and then kicked it straight into the goal. She cheered and danced. Then she ran straight over to me and Meg for a big hug. I hate that we missed this camera moment, because honestly she is a kick and watch it go sort of girl. So there is a part of me that wonders if this will be her only goal… she really is more of a dancer… yes, I write that a little depressed. Not really, I love her – as long as she will always run to give me a hug!)
Now as the kids grow older they will learn the rules. Out of bounds will not longer lead to a free for all race. Instead they will take the game seriously. It will certainly look like better soccer and it will BE better soccer if victory is the goal. But what if the goal is not winning. What if the goal was fun… well, I doubt anyone could have as much fun as Ivy and her team.
But missing the point is what causes us to stumble. It is why the Jews (at least the Pharisees) could never accept Jesus. For them the goal was righteousness. So they set out with works of the law and in all honesty lived better lives than most of us will ever do… and yet they did not find salvation.
Why? Because it is not about righteousness. It is about Christ. The goal is relationship with him. There is not a list of rules to follow, except one, Follow. Wherever He goes, we must go. Whatever He asks, we must do.
And in our following we will find righteous. Not our own, but even very righteousness of God!