The Diamond and the Black Felt – reflections on last post…

Refer to Gospel of Love 11 of 21 to participate in this reflection…

Encountering the word of God as a hearer can be just as informative for the deliverer. I’ve felt this way about the short commentary I did on John chapter 11 last week. As I’ve been in conversations about this blog with dear friends I’ve been chewing on some of the implications and applications of these thoughts. Here are some…

During the past few years I’ve been developing my theological signature, discovering the passion I have for the body of Christ. It’s come down to two categories- 1. That they not just know about God but that they know God. And 2. That they are able to practically apply their faith in their real life situations.   In my spiritual landscape, that may differ from yours, there are many folks who have a hyper awareness of spiritual things with a very underdeveloped understanding of how to live out their everyday lives successfully (i.e. keeping roofs over their heads and take care of rudimentary tasks). And as I’ve been thinking about the concept from “Gospel of Love 11 of 21” I’ve discovered that there may be a very important thread that could help in bringing more right perspective within my passion for the body.

As far as I can tell, one of the ways that we keep ourselves entertained by our Christian formation is that we place a lot of focus on the peculiar passages of the bible that teeter on the fringe of the natural realm. The healings, the visions, the declarations…We also place special emphasis on the spiritual gifts, speaking in tongues, healing the sick, raising the dead; we flock to those who operate in profound and entertaining ways, often times encountering folks who display a “Christianity” that is somewhat disconnected from what we know. It’s like they’re in some kind of different faith than what we’ve seen. In like fashion we watch fantasy movies, read fiction books, watch TV series that focus on types of people that are nothing like us. We love to escape our realities.

In other words we often choose to live in “la-la land” instead of reality. But the reality check is that living in “La-la land” does not help us live out our everyday lives with our real problems, real bills, and real struggles.

(Please don’t stop up your ears and run at me with stones… I’m trying to help.)

Creating a theology from the fringe verses of the Bible makes for a terrible everyday life. Although the bible is chalked full remarkable stories and miracles, there are also plenty of stories that tell of the way that normal people deal with normal situations. Think of Abraham and Sarai and the way she laughed at the potential of her having a kid at such an old age. Many passages assume that you will have struggles and speaks to us about how to deal with our struggles. For example, “if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” And, “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”

Also look at the concept of folks struggling with a lack of healing such as with Paul’s thorn, or in Lazarus’ death that seemed to be outside of God’s will, these stories are  just as instructive as the other fringe passages that we quote in public places with loud voices and mustered passion. It’s just not as exciting and “thrill seeker” as the other passages. But probably more needed.

Living a life with God is about struggles and heartaches as much as it is about prosperity and miracles. God has promised us that “in this world we will have tribulation” but He has also experienced the toughest situations Himself so that He could give us the strength and perspective to live in the middle of the hard situations with Him.

So take heart son and daughter of God, He has not left us alone. Let your perspective of life with God take on some more meat and bones, it’s not going to be all thrills and 3rd heaven visions, there is the mundane and the norm that when perceived rightly can be just as valuable and important as a  backdrop to the glory of God. Like the very important black cloth that displays the beautiful diamond. They complement each other, making whole the human life that has intersected with the divine. This is our lot.

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