Sunday, March 29, 2009
The Ground of our Hope
I took these two photographs in my friend's yard yesterday. I am always so overwhelmed with the presence of God when I can absorb the beauty of a crowded stand of wildflowers. We went through her house and chose a few pieces to place in the bluebonnets. These two, in particular, gave me goosebumps, or Godbumps as I sometimes say. We were made to praise Him, to have relationship with Him. The cross upon which the one is the sower of all seed, gave his life. The angel bugling praises to the heavens from the seed who bore fruit on the ground.
There is a controversy bubbling in Fort Worth and Dallas about two billboards coming soon to our area sponsored by atheist groups. One will be posted along I-35 down to Fort Worth and the other around Loop 12 in Dallas. They will be pictures of sky with the words written something like, "Don't believe in God? You are not alone."
I imagine it will just divide up the 'sides' to shout at each other about who is right; to escalate the argument about the existence of God. I think it is interesting that it comes at Easter time. Jesus willingly gave up his life for us. He, himself, broke the LAW several times in scripture because it was LOVE for us that took higher calling than obeying the LAW.
I have no doubt that many of the atheists have been of a religious persuasion at some time and were 'turned off' by the legalism that all religions have, to a certain degree. Their books tell in black and white what rules must be obeyed to be 'good.' I know many Christians that have been wounded by rules and judgments accord to church or religious doctrines. I have ministered to a good number to not throw God out with the bath of whatever denomination threw them away because of not following certain rules. You can't do this, you must do that; if you don't or won't, then hit the road. You are bad, evil, stupid, disobedient, not good enough to be one of us. You must do it our way or the highway. Shunning, shaming, and yelling are alive and well in the Christian churches. Yet those actions do not change peoples' hearts, except perhaps to harden them. I believe that only Love can soften them, and open them up to receive a relationship with God. Only a heart drawn to God, even as it runs away from Him, will get these results.
The fact is, not one of us is good enough. Frankly, I would rather become more like Jesus than get an A+ on a rules test. WORKS does not, nor will it ever, clean us up. GRACE does that. GOD GIVEN GRACE. He knitted each one of us in our mothers' wombs with the ability and free will to reject our maker. We were made from dust, and God is the very Ground of our Hope.
I ask you to pray with me forr those folks on both 'sides' of the billboard argument, that many will be 'turned on' again not by hearing scriptures and rules shouted across the lines; but by awesome, personal manifestations and encounters of God's love for each other, His children, no matter what side we are on.
The two great commandments that cover all law?
Love God and love one another.