Tag Archives: starbucks

My View While Writing Blog Posts

Nothing particularly insightful or groundbreaking today, not I ever write anything insightful or groundbreaking.  Sometimes I just like playing with my cameras, either my DSLR or my iPhone.  Today I wanted a memory of what it looks like while I write my blogs.  My normal routine is to go out for my run, make breakfast and the Elixir of Life (coffee), then commence to writing.  Here’s what it looks like while I do.

 

Starbucks and a Weekend at Bernie’s

“From now on the Israelites must not go near the Tent of Meeting, or the will bear the consequences of their sin and will die.” Numbers 18:22

The Tent of Meeting was kind of like Starbucks for God and Moses. It’s where they met to discuss, chat, chew (burn) the fat, etc. Okay, I’m bordering on sacrilege. The point is that the Tent of Meeting is where God was manifest for the Israelites. Moses was allowed in to the Tent to be with God, the Levites were allowed within proximity of the Tent. Everyone else? Stay away!

Why? Because God’s presence reveals sin. God’s holiness publicizes those things that were hidden in shame. The glory of God shines a spotlight on just how dirty and nasty human deeds really are. Proximity to God let’s out the secret that we’ve all tried to deny; that is, we’re really dead.

We might act like we’re alive. We party and celebrate, act joyful, commiserate with friends. We fill our lives with things that fool us into feeling like we’re alive, even vibrant. Our check book registers and credit card statements are filled with purchases of wide screen TVs, cruises to the Med, dinners at the finest restaurants. But, they’re all just illusions of life. We all know it but are too prideful to admit…we’re dead. In spite of all the things we do to feign life we’re really empty, nasty, dirty carcasses.

Rather than being alive, we’re actually just puppets; lifeless marionettes manipulated by an unseen and ruthless puppeteer. Or maybe like poor Bernie in one of my favorite movies “Weekend at Bernie’s” (the first one, not the sequel). Like Bernie, we’re just used to perpetuate the illusion of life. Who is the puppeteer? Who’s pulling the string and manipulating through the charade of life? Satan, Lucifer, the father of all lies.

“Wait a minute, Joe,” you might say. Go ahead say it. “There are at least two problems with saying we’re dead. First, what if we just don’t go near God? Or second, isn’t that a rather vindictive god you’re describing?”

The cool part is both are perfectly valid questions and both have been answered with the same name. For the first point, God is here and we can’t get away from Him. And I don’t mean just metaphysically. God coming to earth to be with humans is what separates Christianity from all other religions. All other religions base “salvation” on us bringing ourselves to life; on us working our way to heaven. But, in Jesus, God came to us. And, because God came to us in the person of Jesus then His presence in the world revealed the dirty little secret that it was filled with death.

Second, God knows that we’re dead. He knows what we we’re deceived out of or may have discovered about ourselves but wouldn’t acknowledge. We can’t make ourselves better, we can’t evolve, we don’t improve…duh, we’re dead. Dead doesn’t get better. And, that breaks God’s heart. He created us to be alive. He created us as life. So He came in the person of Jesus.

There’s a common misunderstanding amongst us humans. It seems to cross the boundary between denominations, the divide between Christian and non-Christian, nationalities, philosophies, etc. That is, many people, I would argue, the majority of people believe Jesus’ mission in life was to make sick people better. Mentally sick people, morally sick people, physically sick people; the mis-belief is that He came to heal us. Or maybe to forgive us; to gloss over our sin. While it is true that He came to do all of those things, they were just to reveal who He is and as a means to an end.

No, Jesus came to bring dead people back to life. In the person who reveals that we are dead is also the breath that brings us back to life. In one fell swoop God did one of the most compassionate and kind things in all of history. He exposed our condition and broke the lie of Satan. No, broke isn’t strong enough. Vaporized, obliterated…I don’t think there is a strong enough word, but you get the idea. That is, we’re dead and we need of Savior. In that same fell swoop, He did the most kind and compassionate thing in all of history and that is that He gave us a way to life. And, He did it through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Now, take a look at the check register and credit card statement. Re-examine the party schedule and social calendar. What does our life in Jesus look like? It’s not the view of an old rotting carcass anymore is it? The smell is sweeter, the colors brighter, the music more harmonic, the dancing more vibrant. Isn’t it good to be alive?

That’s why worship!