Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lent 20: Bigger than ourselves

One of the top stories on the Web is about "Jihad Jane," a seemingly normal neighbor who took care of her boyfriend's father by day and was recruited by extreme Muslims online.

"No suspicions. Didn't even seem religious," said her boyfriend, until she disappeared to Europe with his passport so she could marry a Muslim terrorist. She, on the other hand, wrote she would have no compunctions about knocking him off. Seeing him dead.

W and I have talked over the years about the desire of humanity to be involved with something "bigger than ourselves." We are made to live large and contribute. Our Creator offers us life with mystery, direction, and purpose. But we rebels keep trying to find our own paths, with attendant disaster. Surrender would mean having to let Someone tell us what to do and how to live.

Buckle under? Be obedient? "Not me! I'm gonna do it my way!" shouts the individualist. Regardless of consequences.

When we share Jesus, his cross, and resurrection, we're not offering a palliative or placebo to numb our boredom and uselessness. "Power, glory, wealth, honor, majesty" - those are words associated with God. When we substitute words like "rules, regulations, escape, conformity," we dilute the Life that surges into the grave and raises the dead, overcomes powerful opposition, and overwhelms humanity with abundance and joy.

No need to be seduced by terrorists or self-medicate with cheap thrills when you are part of something As Big As That!

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*Fools base their thoughts on foolish assumptions, so their conclusions will be wicked madness. Ecclesiastes 10:13 NLT

*For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV

*Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. Rev. 4:11 NIV

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