Monday, January 26, 2009

Being the Body

Last week, I was nonchalantly walking down a sidewalk at our church paying no mind to the fact that some roofers had cleaned up just a couple of days earlier from the job they'd done on our church buildings. No less than 10 kids ran up the sidewalk right in front of me on their way to our Tuesday afternoon tutoring class. But as I walked, all of a sudden, I felt a sharp, excruciating pain shoot through the bottom of my foot, right on the smooth skin beneath my 4th and 5th toes. I literally thank God that I had the presence of mind to stop mid step before my foot went all the way to the ground with the full weight of my body on top of it. Somehow, I was able to catch myself, and quickly sit down leaving about 1/8" of the nail sticking out the bottom of my shoe. I'm also thankful I was wearing a pair of Wolverine chukka boots that day and not the Crocs I often wear to the office. A couple of band-aids and a tetanus shot later I was limping home, back to my daily routine.
The amazing thing is, though, how much that small puncture wound affected the rest of my body. I found that walking on my heel was much more comfortable than putting down the front of my foot. I also found that walking on my heel was much more comfortable if I was wearing a loose-fitting shoe, so I found myself wearing the aforementioned Crocs around the house. This very small injury caused me to walk in a completely different manner and actually develop muscle soreness in some different areas of my body.
As I pondered my "gimpy" state, I thought of Paul's teachings on the body of Christ. My favorite passage on this is I Corinthians 12. In this passage he says, "parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indespensible, and parts that we think are less honorable, we should treat with special honor."
How many of our churches are deficient in many areas because the people who should be doing the minstry of a "hand" or "eye" are to busy trying to be a "foot" or an "ear." When my foot was sore, my body did not have balance and control. It was inefficient. I have a feeling that's what some of our churches look like when we don't have enough people doing certain things in the body.

Monday, January 19, 2009

And People Say There is No God!

"Miracle on the Hudson" is what the headlines and news stories read. What amuses me, is today's definition of miracle. In our pseudo-Christian society where God, if he exists, is more of a relative hodge-podge of various cultural deities thrown into a postmodern philosophical blender, people are acknowledging that a miracle has occurred! I just think it's fascinating that even though the pilot was one of the most qualified individuals probably in the world for the task at hand AND did everything he was trained to do AND all the by-passing boat captains did what they knew to do to help out (whether they were trained or not) AND the crew of the aircraft knew exactly what to do to get everyone safely off the plane AND the plane was equipped with the proper safety features for such a time as this--that people still are calling this a miracle. Why? BECAUSE IT WAS A MIRACLE! You can write all this off as coincidence, but we all know that no one lands a jumbo jet in a river without losing a single person unless someone is watching over you.

Isaiah 26:8 says this..." Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, [a] we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts." We were put on this earth to testify to the wonder of God. What better time than when the world is witnessing what even non-believers are calling "a miracle"?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Importance of a Good Foundation

For Christmas, my wife and daughter bought me a pair of shoes. Very nice shoes that I really liked. Well, I wore them for a couple of weeks thinking, "These are pretty comfortable, but they just seem to be a little loose." You can always tell when a shoe is too big or when it just needs to be tightened at the laces. The problem was, though, that I couldn't get the laces any tighter. Not because they were already too tight, but as I looked closer they were laced in a funny way. Growing up, I learned to lace shoes by crossing over and putting the lace through the hole on the inside of the shoe, then crossing over and going through the inside of the next hole and so on. These were done the opposite, for reasons unbeknownst to me. Instead of being laced from the inside of the holes, these were laced from the outside to the inside which meant that when you tried to tighten the laces, it didn't work. It seems that someone at the shoe factory, or maybe at the shoe store did not know that laces needed to go a certain way. As I pondered this, I began to wonder how many things do our kids (whether our own children or students entrusted to our ministry) pick up over the years that are just not right?

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." This is not a promise from God, but rather a proverb--a general nugget of truth and wisdom. But the truth is there. We should train our children in the proper way. In the church, this means teaching them a sound theology. If they do not have an overall grasp of who God is in their lives, as soon as life gets rough, they will jump ship to the first temporary thing that will momentarily ease their pain. As we serve God's children, let us be thorough and accurate in our teaching.