Sunday, May 1, 2011

"We're All Here Because We're Not All There"

This is a sneak peek at my devotional thoughts for Sunday morning's communion service. Last minute meditation givers are free to use it with proper attribution.

"We're All Here Because We're Not All There". I saw those Poignant words on a bumper sticker in Atlanta. It advertises the unofficial motto of a part of town called "Little Five Points". It's were all the weird hippies and cool kids hang out. I think what their trying to say is 'you gotta be crazy to hang around this place!' I would tend to agree. If you ever get there you might meet Wolf.

Wolf has been homeless a long time. Once upon a time I worked with a ministry called Jesus Place, and about 10-15 years before I came to work there, Jesus Place had a presence in Little Five Points. At that time, it's where a lot of homeless people and run away kids liked to hang out. Wolf was there then, and he was there when I started working with Jesus Place. Of all the things Wolf was famous for, the most famous was probably for sleeping in a tree in a park near Little Five Points. When I asked why he slept in a tree, his answer was "Because it's against the law to sleep on the ground." I'm pretty sure Wolf slept in that tree because he "wasn't all there."

I can relate to Wolf. I do things that make perfect sense to me that seem crazy to other people, especially when it comes to faith. Sooner or later, someone is going to think we are out of our minds for believing that our savior died, was buried, and rose again, furthermore, that he's coming back. Let's read 2 Peter 3:1-9:

1This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation." 5For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
-English Standard Version
When we read our Bibles cover to cover, it's hard to comprehend the amount of time that passes between events. We forget that from the time the Israelites leave the promise land to the time that Jesus comes, is about fifteen hundred years. We forget that it took a little while for God to get mad enough at the world to destroy it in flood, and we forget that it took a little while for Noah to build the Ark. It may yet even be a little while longer before the Lord returns. Until then, Jesus wants us to do one thing together, the very thing we do together every Sunday morning. He wants us to remember the new covenant. We come together on the first day of the week to remember that one day, this world will pass, and there will be no more pain! We remember that our sins have been forgiven, and they will haunt us no more! We remember the awesome and powerful words Jesus spoke right before he departed from the disciples after rising from the dead: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Let's remember that we are all here, around this table, because we are not all there YET!

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