Who hasn’t come home from a long day of this or that and wanted to have something to share with roommates/family, something that would really wow the group and give you that sense of having something valuable to share? Why is this so fulfilling? We love being the one in the know. I have nothing new to share with you or to try to impress you with, friends. I titled this post, “Shocking News,” because I knew that would get at least someone’s alerts up.
Reading in Matthew chapter three this morning, I was shocked, however, by the simplicity of God’s method of announcing the importance of Jesus to the world as He neared the official years of His ministry before dying for our sin to make us right with (righteous before) God. John. This guy had a leather belt and some rough clothes and literally was less than a subsistence farmer in his methods for getting along. As a sort of self-labeled lay preacher of sorts (me), I think I kind of get this. I don’t have a congregation and I’m not a pastor by any stretch in title. Yet, through this blog and through what I get to share in by business and in my community, I regularly am preaching the Good News of Jesus dying and living to give us eternal life in relationship with Him. Learning about John “the baptist” as we have come to call him, I’m pleasantly shocked by the news of how this Good News messenger lived and operated among humanity. We have basically all read of him or heard of him before. John wasn’t trying to impress anyone. He didn’t make a show of how well he could dress or what possessions or accomplishments he could wear on his resume or asset list. John was less than anyone he encountered pretty much as far as responsibilities or encumbrances. This gives ALL of us hope for being effective communicators of God’s greatest good news we could ever know or share – the Person and Work on the cross of Jesus Christ, the God-man! We can all be overwhelmed by and share about this Person, this Jesus. We can live all-in for Him and know Him in His Word and through community devoted to Jesus.
Do we want clearer purpose to our lives? Wherever we find ourselves, let us be humble and joyful around the Story of Jesus and find creative ways of sharing with those we encounter day to day that, “Jesus is my vision. Jesus is my hope. You may know me for this or that, but deep in my soul, He is the Reason I have an eternal hope and relationship with God instead of vague fears about meaning and truth.”
May 2015 be a year of GOOD news for each of us. Recently I read about how Macaulay Culkin in the world’s eyes is pretty much a waste of time to talk about or think about, even though he’s still alive and well and rockin’ out, singing songs about PIZZA – LINK. Okay, so it’s a little sad to watch this video and see how really… hmm… his life has become. Then again, maybe he tasted (sorry, cheesy, I know)… being a star and would rather get the lime-light off of himself and enjoy being somewhat normal. If we made more of a point to connect with people, out of the lime-light, truly connecting and listening to those we encounter to hear them and understand, listening to understand… then, maybe we would find meaning like John did. He lost his head for Jesus. Jesus called him the greatest prophet that ever walked this earth. We have to all agree that he was, being the final one to announce Jesus being here on earth in Person to save all who hope in Him. God isn’t into us having pretenses. He wants a people who are authentically humble and vulnerable and seeking His face, knowing Him personally in the ways He has made it possible for us to know Him in this life, as spelled out in the Bible over and over again.
I read one article about Macaulay Culkin that said, “Let’s hope he makes his way back into stardom soon.” As if that is his only hope for meaning and hope. I have a strong suspicion that he would strongly resent that statement. Being in lights is not where we find our deepest meaning. Living out a living and breathing relationship with Jesus Christ through His Spirit and His people and His calling for all believers… that’s meaning in this life. Love God. Love Neighbor. Make followers of Jesus. Now we’re talking!