Thursday, March 25, 2010

God lives in the stomach of my 4 year old son

Yes, I am afraid it is true; God lives in the stomach of my 4 year old and he eats all his food. As well God communicates when he wants more by growling in there. Where would we be without the theology of our 4 year olds? Good morning my friends. I am going again with the perspective thing this morning but I believe you will be glad I did. There are a lot of people who avoid a study of Hebrews assuming that it will be hard to understand. It is true that it was written for the Hebrew mind which has a different perspective than ours but we also need to remember that the Holy Spirit is our teacher. The letter itself is so beautifully laid out that it becomes an easy read in that it has a wonderful flow to it, but you need to be careful because you could read right past breath-taking passages that you fail to notice. It is like driving across Canada and failing to stop to enjoy the beauty of each unique province. Do not rush it but instead stop where you are moved by the Spirit and drink it in.

We have different images, different perspectives of who God is and how he should be approached. We also often only see him as a one person team, failing to take in the entire package. Some people approach God and the things of God with great fear and trembling. In fact they are so afraid they rarely approach him at all. Then there are others who are so casual with God that it borders on disrespect. Regardless of where you fit in I want us to consider this beautiful, breath-taking passage from Hebrews that gives us a great perspective of God and the things of God. First we are told what God and his Kingdom are not:

You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned." The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear." (Hebrews 12:18-21)

There are a few of us who have had this perspective at one time or another in our lives. This is an Old Testament perspective, before the revelation of Jesus Christ; before the door to intimacy with the Father was opened; before the cross and empty grave changed our perspective forever; before we received the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit who allows us to live in Jesus. It is crazy how many people still live with the old revelation of God. It is important revelation to study and understand but we know so much more than that now. Our perspective has been changed:

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24)

Incredible isn't it? Do you see the complete package? Do you see the inclusion of the Church here? We are part of something big, incredible and oh so beautiful. It does not matter how you woke up this morning, good mood or bad, happy or depressed, when you realize what a beautiful thing we are part of it has to change you. Just stand there for a moment and study this. Allow the words and the images they convey cascade over your soul this morning. We are are so much more than this world understands, than we understand ourselves and so much more has been promised us then we dare to imagine. We who belong to the Father through Jesus' sacrifice should not approach our Father with fear but instead with joy and gladness, with thanksgiving oozing out of every pore of our being. This is our God who died for us, who now lives in us and us in him, who wants nothing but the best for us and that best includes himself and eternity.

It is a beautiful balance we want to achieve with our perspective of God. We need to remember that there is a reason for the image of the Old Testament. Dad is awesome, powerful, almighty, a consuming fire and so much more. The Old Testament saw God as a neighbour kid may have seen our dad when we were young, but we saw dad as dad, the guy we wrestle with on the floor. This is the difference with us in seeing our Father; we have such intimacy with him that sometimes we can also forget his awesomeness. We are reminded:

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:28-29)

So, let's not be afraid to approach our Dad today and have that intimate relationship with him that goes beyond words. At the same time, do not forget to worship him and show him the love and respect he deserves. We are in an incredibly awesome place with our God, and don't you dare forget that today.

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