Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Light That Has Lighted The World.3

"Once, you journeyed into the wilderness to listen to John, the prophet you called, the Baptiser. He spoke to you of the truth. 

He was a burning and shining light: and you were willing, at least for a while, to follow him. 

Now, one has come with a greater demonstration of power than John, for the work that my Father has given me to accomplish, the very acts which I perform now in your presence, prove that I am sent from God." 
--Jesus

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the Government and I'm here to help.'"
-Ronald Reagan  
One of my fondest memories of interacting with the government was having to obtain sign permits from the kind people at the District of Columbia licensing bureau.  Since one could count on using up all the available hours in a work day it was always wise to take a picnic lunch and some good reading material!  No matter what kind of sign to be installed I was required to stand in line at all nine stations
image from cartoonstock.com
for the approval and signature of the official on duty.  Soil and erosion, environmental impact, city beautification, mayor's vacation fund... If you happened in on a day when all nine officials were in a relatively good mood things went swimmingly...at least that's what I was told, I'm pretty sure I was never there on one of those days.  Rather, the closer you got to your turn for the coveted signature, the longer you held your breath that it wasn't approaching some scheduled 
break (or non-scheduled, it all paid the same) or that you failed to dot an "i" or cross a "t" properly and would be sent back to the end of the line to pay penance.  On one successful occasion managing the maze I asked the cashier if "they" got a bonus for reducing citizens to weeping infants lying helplessly on the floor?!  She wasn't amused...

Oops, remembered another remarkable encounter with government.  A son, living in LA, had his car impounded, due to a registration failure on the part of the lending institution through which he bought the car.  It took three months to get the proper information on how to get the car out of impound!  I called everyone from the State DMV office in Sacramento to the impound city's mayor's office to try to figure out what we had to do to get his car back.  My wife and I flew out there with $3,000 in hand to pay the accumulated fees and fines only to find out that the local DMV didn't know what we were talking about.  It was only the grace of God that we found a person --who also had teenagers-- and took us under her wings to work us through the "system."

Life is hard.  There are problems that are so complicated and difficult they appear overwhelming and are far beyond our own ability to solve. The struggles we face as individuals are, in fact, common to man. We form societies to address and solve many of them.  But too often the societies end up becoming as much a part of the problem as the original issue. Those who advocate for government to be the primary caregiver and solve all our problems forget that government is made up of people with their own
struggles. (I do have to admit, though, that government people seem to think and behave so differently than the rest of the population its tempting to think they are a different species altogether!)

Much of Jesus' time on earth, of course, was spent solving people's problems.  We refer to the work he did in restoring individuals eyesight, healing lame, diseased and demon-infested people, feeding thousands with a few fish and bread, even raising dead relatives, as "miracles" because the time span in which the healing, feeding, or raising occurred was nearly instantaneous.

But the truth of the matter is that Jesus did what God the Father is doing all the time!  The real miracle is in igniting faith and love for his Father-God by letting people experience the intensity of His loving touch in a moment of time!

Rather than letting the intensity and pain of the problem steal all our hope and joy, Jesus' message to humanity is: There is a God who loves you vigorously! I'm your proof that there is nothing more powerful than the Love of God in overcoming life and reaching your potential!

Jesus is everything I want my God to be!
"he is simply and altogether our friend, our father— our more than friend, father, and mother— our infinite love-perfect God. Grand and strong beyond all that human imagination can conceive of poet-thinking and kingly action, he is delicate beyond all
that human tenderness can conceive of husband or wife, homely beyond all that human heart can conceive of father or mother. He has not two thoughts about us. With him all is simplicity of purpose and meaning and effort and end— namely, that we should be as he is, think the same thoughts, mean the same things, possess the same blessedness. It is so plain that any one may see it, every one ought to see it, every one shall see it. It must be so. He is utterly true and good to us, nor shall anything withstand his will.
How terribly, then, have the theologians misrepresented God in the measures of the low and showy, not the lofty and simple humanities! Nearly all of them represent him as a great King on a grand throne, thinking how grand he is, and making it the business of his being and the end of his universe to keep up his glory, wielding the bolts of a Jupiter against them that take his name in vain...
Brothers, have you found our king? There he is, kissing little children and saying they are like God. There he is at table with the head of a fisherman lying on his bosom, and somewhat heavy at heart that even he, the beloved disciple, cannot yet understand him well."
MacDonald, George. The Collected Works of George MacDonald: The Complete Works PergamonMedia (Highlights of World Literature) (Kindle Locations 26194-26198). PergamonMedia. Kindle Edition. 
As His followers, may we continue to demonstrate the profound power of His love in helping ignite faith and love for the Father to those He appoints us to touch!