Sunday, February 22, 2015

How to Fix the World: 1st Sunday Lent

The story of Noah and the Flood isn’t an easy one for us. How could it be, when its starting point is the sinfulness of the world? That’s where the story begins: God’s Creation has gone wrong.

Maybe the first lesson of the story is just to remind us of the seriousness of sin. You and I are used to the world having sin and disorder in it. But in the Biblical perspective, it’s tremendous and shattering beyond description. We think of big sins and little sins, and we tend to think of little sins as being no big deal really. That’s totally unbiblical. If only one venial sin had occurred in the history of mankind, that would be a monstrous, shattering thing. Because it means that God’s Creation is disordered, imperfect, and fallen. When I’ve recorded piano pieces, the moment I hit a wrong note I stop and begin again. There’s no way I’d want a recording to exist where I’m playing a wrong note. Why should we expect God to have lower standards for His Creation? There’s no comparison: I know that my performance is far from perfection no matter what I do, but a glaring mistake I still won’t allow to proceed. I’ll wipe the slate clean and start over. But God is perfect, infinite goodness and beauty and perfection itself. How do you think a wrong note looks to Him? How about slavery, murder, deceit, envy, greed?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday 2015

Imagine, if you would, a professional baseball player… let’s say it’s Matt Holliday… He’s just had batting practice and he’s leaving the clubhouse. On the way out, two teammates get his attention. The first one says, “You know Matt, I’ve always thought there was something special about your swing, and I was watching you at batting practice and I think I’ve figured out what you’re doing that’s so right. Want to grab a bite and I’ll tell you what you do really well?” The next guy says, “Hey, Matt, I was watching you at B.P. and… hey man, you’re a fantastic ballplayer and I don’t mean to butt in, but I think I noticed a flaw in your swing. Want to grab dinner and talk about it?”

Which will he choose?