When Familiar Beats Good
1 hour ago
'Are you in shadow? Are you in pain? Next to you, is Hamlet a happy man? ...
'Do not cry to me. I can only cry with you. I will not die for you. I am still too young in the meaning of love. Talk to the Fool, to the one who left a throne to enter an anthill. He will enter your shadow. It cannot taint Him. He has done it before. His holiness is not fragile. It burns like a father to the sun. Touch His skin, put your hand in His side. He has kept His scars when He did not have to. Give Him your pain and watch it overwhelmed, burned away by the joy He takes in loving. In stooping.'
EVERYTHINGfrom Up To Date (1993), p137 [HT: Mark Meynell]
by Steve Turner
Looks aren’t everything.
Luxury’s not everything.
Money’s not everything.
Health is not everything.
Success is not everything.
Happiness is not everything.
Even everything is not everything.
There’s more to life than everything.
We must repent where necessary, where we have crossed the line; but, just as necessary, we must fight where we see the truth is at stake. We should be grateful for the truth that polemics have preserved so that we have a gospel to proclaim; and we should not allow a misguided commitment to being nice to allow us, in effect, to dump huge problems on the next generation by running up a massive theological and moral deficit in the church of the present. [Read more.]
The cross must be an essential element in our definition of vocational fulfilment.
Young Christian workers who return to Sri Lanka after studying in the West struggle with this. They cannot use their qualifications fully because we cannot afford pure specialists. Some leave the country after a few years. Some start their own organisations so that they can fulfil their ‘vision’. Others pay the price of identifying with our people and ultimately have a deep impact on the nation.
Paul placed importance on the need to endure frustration patiently, groaning with creation as we await its redemption (Romans 8.18-25). Not including this in our understanding of vocational fulfilment today leads to a shallow church, failing to challenge the world’s standards of success and fulfilment.
I have a great fear for the church. The West is fast becoming an unreached region. The Bible and history show that suffering is an essential ingredient in reaching unreached people. As the church in the West has lost a theology of suffering, will it be ineffective in its evangelism? [Read more.]