Posts Tagged: "rising tide"

“Blessings” That Amount To A Load Of Crap

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I’ve noticed something that we Americans, especially American Christians, do frequently:

When being asked something that feels too “personal” and invades our private sensibilities, we shift into giving sweeping generalizations, philosophical ramblings, and ambiguous blessings.

Here are some examples:

Q. Do you give money to beggars?

A. That’s a tough one. I’ve heard that some of these guys actually make more money in a day standing at an intersection holding a sign than they would if they went out and got a legitimate job… Read More

The Cacophony Problem

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There’s a story of the rebuilding of Israel’s temple found in the book of Ezra.

The first temple had been destroyed 70 years earlier. Finally, a rebuilding effort was underway.

This was good news, a victory, and something worth celebrating.

Some of the people rejoiced. They sang and danced and shouted joyfully.

Others, however, chose to mourn the destruction of the old temple (remember: that was 70 year-old bad news). What the heck?

The people made so much noise it could be heard far away, and no one could tell the difference between the joyful shouting and the sad crying. —Ezra 3.13 NCV

Instead of the sound of pure joy, there was a cacophony—a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds—that resulted in a big question mark over what was taking place. Were they celebrating? Were they mourning? Were they happy? Were they sad? No one could really tell. It was just a bunch of indistinguishable noise.

I want to know, why were some people mourning? There’s something known as a “biblical period of mourning.” This refers to a prescribed number of days set aside for the purpose of sorrow and mourning. For instance, when Moses died, the people were given 30 days to mourn.

In other words, there is a proper time for sorrow, but its days are numbered. Sadness is a legitimate and necessary response, but it must be followed with the rising tide of joy.

Let’s be real: 70 years of mourning is absolutely ridiculous.

Those people needed to be celebrating the dawning of a new day and the building of a new temple, not playing tapes from 70 stinking years ago!

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. —Psalm 30.5 NLT

I believe we are Good News people living in a bad news world. Are there problems out there? Absolutely. Are they new? Not exactly. Is it time for mourning or rejoicing?

In light of what Jesus did for us on the cross, and the fact that he is risen, I’d say we have reason to celebrate. Our sins are forgiven. Our debt has been permanently cancelled. We have life—life with God for ever more.

Unfortunately, much of the church today has a cacophony problem. There is a discordant noise that rises from the church—a mixture of Good News and bad news, of rejoicing and mourning, of happiness and anger.

And maybe once a year, the cacophony dies down for a brief moment on Easter Sunday and there is the sound of pure joy.

As for me and my family (and church family), I am committed to the sound that Good News makes: the sound of pure joy. How about you?

Always be joyful. —1 Thessalonians 5.16 NLT

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. —1 Thessalonians 5.16-18 MSG


imagine life overflowing 2013 work no 2