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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Week of September 3, 2017

Over the past four weeks, we've established something which I'm sure by now you're tired of hearing.
We set out to explore human greatness and determined from the start that it was decency to the max. We're dealing with four principles of human decency: 1) Everyone is important; 2) Joy is in others; 3) Everything matters; and, today, we'll look at 4) Leave no stone unturned. The driving factor in all of this, we'e said, is the wisdom that I must decrease and the other (thou) must increase.

This principle plays nicely into our focus in worship last Sunday. Though it's such a subtle occurance in the narrative, we wouldn't have the great call story of Moses at the burning bush had he never turned aside in wonder to see the mysterious sight. We are like Moses, thinking that the landscape, the soil, the shrubbery, and the sheep are predictable. Sure, our eyes stay peeled for predators; but we assume we are prepared for such predictable surprises, all in an effort to curtail incredulity. "I" remain in control, even amid chaos. From what, then, did Moses turn aside?

This fourth and final principle of human decency serves as a culmination of the other three and was long at work before ever mentioned. Leaving no stone unturned is what Jesus meant by becoming child-like. It's the child-like who will see God's kingdom. Want to know why? Okay, but I warn you: it's deep. The child-like will see God's kingdom--or, as Jesus goes so far as to say, God's kingdom belongs to the child-like--because they are looking for it. Yep, it's that simple. The child-like, to the perturbation of us more serious and responsible folk, are always turning aside and peaking under every stone. Everything is always new and full of wonder, worthy of exploration.

And we wrap decency up nicely with this fourth principle. Everyone is important when we begin to wonder at what God's up to, even in the most surface interactions with others. Joy is in others when we expore where joy truly originates. We find there the very image of God reflected back to us in others. Everything becomes important when we exchange fear and stress over things with a sense of wonder, allowing us to be still (maybe sleep like Jesus in the boat) amid the most violent storm. Then we will not be so consumed with our anxieties. We will not be so consumed with our sureties of the looming threats. We will not always be in a state of flight or flight. Rather, like a child, we will explore the God-given day granted us with a sense of wonder and mindfulness that leaves no stone unturned.

That's the epitome of human decency. The "I" protecting itself from all harm must get smaller. We can then magnifiy the wonder of God in others.

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