startling news about God – we are better than him

fanfare trumpetAhem*

[Loud Fanfare]

Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to announce the amazing, astounding, awesome list of things that we humans are better at than God.

Yes, you did read that right. This is the amazing, astounding, awesome list of things that we humans are better at than God.

  1. Remembering. God says that if we ask him for forgiveness in the name of Jesus he will remember our sins no more. But while we humans may forgive, forgetting is another matter. When the moment arises we will remember.
  2. Advertising. You would have thought that being the Supreme Being God would have sorted out his PR a bit better. Surely he would have put evidence of his existence everywhere, written into our DNA and written large across the sky? Instead his primary promotional strategy relies on human beings like me telling others about Jesus. People like me who are much better at pushing ourselves forwards, showing off and making sure that everyone knows how amazing we are than we are at talking about Jesus.
  3. Obeying rules. This one is surprising isn’t it? We are better at following rules than God is! We obey the rules of the Universe, and we can’t help it. Winemaking requires grapes and takes a long time, especially for the best wine. Water above zero degrees centigrade does not bear the weight of a fully grown human. People who have been dead for days remain dead. Jesus broke all of those rules.
  4. Delegation. God delegated the task of looking after this planet and one another to humans who are selfish and on the whole will seek to meet their own needs at the expense of others. And while he has given us a set of guidance instructions and run occasional refresher seminars he has, on the whole, left us to it. We would not have made that mistake – we would run a project like that with a much more hands-on management approach and sack people the moment they got out of line.

Be blessed, be a blessing.

*This bloggage comes with a grade 1 irony alert. If you don’t do or get irony, I suggest you look at another of my bloggages.

life in all its fullness

DSCF1884Just a short thought today as I have been out for most of the day…

When Jesus told people that he had come to give them “Life in all its fullness” did they realise that the fullness of life includes pain and suffering as well as joy and excitement? Did they understand that the fullness of life includes doubt as well as certainty? Did they expect fullness of life to include moments when God seems distant and silent as well as those times when we are aware of his awe and wonder? Did they think that forgiveness is only needed after hurt has been caused?

I doubt it.

But then we don’t often think of it in those ways too. We want the good, the exciting, the joyful and forget that character is more often forged in the furnace than among feathers.

Yet they are all experiences of life. The difference with Jesus’ offer of “life in all its fullness” is that there is a God dimension in our life too. He is there with us in pain and suffering as well as joy and excitement. He understands our doubt and certainty. He has not abandoned us even when he seems distant and silent – he is just as close as when we are aware of his awe and wonder.

Be blessed, be a blessing.

rememberiscence

Not my grandparents’ church – it’s actually our church

This morning I had a moment of reminiscence. I am not sure if I was daydreaming or remembering, nor do I know what triggered it, but all of a sudden I found myself remembering being at my Grandparents’ church singing “To God be the Glory!” A rememberiscence:

TO GOD BE THE GLORY! great things He hath done!

So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,

Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,

And opened the life-gate that all may go in.

chorus:

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Let the earth hear His voice!

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Let the people rejoice!

O come to the Father through Jesus the Son;

And give Him the glory, great things He hath done!

 

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood!

To every believer the promise of God;

The vilest offender who truly believes,

That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

 

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,

And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son:

But purer and higher and greater will be

Our wonder, our worship, when Jesus we see!

I can remember the gusto with which the congregation was singing. I was only about 5 or 6 in my memory, and I don’t think I understood the words very well, but I sensed how important these words were to the people who were singing them. Both my sets of Grandparents went to the same church and I can remember whichever ones I was with, they would sing with joy and fervour.

This morning as I was singing with gusto (in my head, my son was asleep next door) I thought of the second thief, crucified next to Jesus. He may not have been ‘the vilest offender’ but he was a convicted criminal (and all sin is equal). He did not have a deep understanding of Jesus’ teaching or message. But he truly believed and that moment he was pardoned: “today you will be with me in paradise.”

Forgiveness is not always easy for us to give or receive. Sometimes we need to take time to get to a place where we can forgive others or ourselves. But God’s forgiveness is instantaneous. He does not hold grudges. He loves us unconditionally, forgives us instantly and reinstates us completely. Wow, that’s amazing grace… perhaps I had better stop now before I start singing again!

Be blessed, be a blessing.

The Rev. Billy Graham tells of a time early in his career when he arrived in a small town to preach a sermon. Wanting to mail a letter, he asked a young boy where the post office was.

When the boy told him, Rev. Graham thanked him and said, “If you’ll come to the Baptist church this evening, you can hear me telling everyone how to get to Heaven.”

“I don’t think I’ll be there,” the boy said. “You don’t even know your way to the post office.”