I will admit to having fun preparing our message for Sunday. I have been looking at Acts 4 where Peter and John are making trouble for the church of their time. These two "wild and crazy" guys are particularly bewildering for the leadership because they seem to get their marching orders from a higher authority than the hierarchy of Jewish leadership. Good for them!
In my work for Sunday I ran across an old song, 10,000 Miles, that was redone by Mary Chapin Carpenter for the movie "Fly Away Home." The song and video are beautiful expressions of how God sends us messages through lyrics and images and stories (I guess that is why Jesus used so many of them). The song is from the 1700's and was a dialogue between two lovers that are parting for a journey. It expresses the longing for reunion and the inevitable of being back together in verses like "the rocks may melt and the seas may burn if I should not return."
As I reflected on this promise of return, I was taken by how God has promised a return in what may be the greatest promise ever ... that Christ will return for His people, the Church. I also asked myself, in what state will He find us? He has given us instructions about what we need to do and how He expects us to reflect (imitate) Him. Will we be reflecting Him or will we reflect the image of this world? When He comes back will we be leading the world to Him or will we be cowering in our places of refuge? On His promised return, "when rocks melt and seas burn," what will the Church be doing?
Francis Chan (in his book Crazy Love [I highly recommend it]) tells the story of Brooke, a teen who has chosen to live a life of meaning that will lead others to God. Brook gave Bibles to those who did not have them using money she earned from babysitting. She wrote poems and love letters to the God who gave each day power, purpose and meaning. In one of her letters she professed to make a difference in the world at an early age. She was killed in a car accident at 14 and at her memorial service (preached by Chan) over 200 people, after hearing her story, her poems and her expressions of love for God, came to faith in Jesus. They all got Bibles donated in her memory.
I think she achieved her life's goal. I think Brooke made a difference. I believe Jesus introduced her to the Father saying, "This one is mine!" I think Brooke was doing the dangerous, sometimes unpopular, wild-hearted, wonderful, beautiful and meaningful work of God ... her short life truly made a difference. When Jesus returns and rocks melt and seas burn ... where will the Church be? Where will you be? Randy