10/31/10 – It’s Halloween!
It is Halloween – kids will go door-to-door looking for Snickers, Hershey’s, or maybe a popcorn ball from the health nut on the corner. There will be scary movies with vampires, monsters and witches – some of whom have been accused of running for a Delaware senate seat. If you are unfamiliar with the legend, folklore and history of this day, it’s a good time to Google it. Or maybe have your grandkids print it out for you.
Death is a prevalent theme, or worse – being “undead.” Pity the poor victim who sees the mummy stalking her, because she will stand there screaming, as the mummy stumbles toward her, encumbered by its centuries old death wrappings, while we all say, “Run!”
You will see princesses, Darth Vader, the occasional Power Ranger and unfortunately – blood. We have a standing rule around our house – no blood, Halloween or not. No blood in movies, tv shows, video games or costumes. Blood is life. And for you and me who have accepted Christ in our lives, spilled blood is life. If you see something all the time, you get used to it. May we never become desensitized to the sight of the Blood.
In Matthew, Christ explains the blood of the new covenant to his disciples. Luke, the doctor, describes prayer so fervent that capillaries in Jesus’ forehead burst and blood fell with sweat and tears to the ground. Paul’s letter to the Romans explains God’s acceptance of Christ’s blood sacrifice for you and me.
There’s a country song about a preacher telling the story of Three Wooden Crosses on the side of the road after a bus accident. On that bus were a preacher, teacher, farmer and a hooker. In his dying moments, the preacher laid his blood-stained Bible in the hooker’s hand and said, “Can’t you see the Promised Land?” The preacher telling the story was that woman’s son.
The very Bible that you carry is blood-stained, and it’s not by accident. Why – when you and I have the ending of the story in our own hands – do we not say to the poor victim standing there screaming, while sin stumbles toward them in centuries-old death wrappings, “run”?
Revelations 5:9 describes John’s vision of the creatures and the elders falling down before the Lamb as He took the scroll, and they sang to Him: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because You were slain, and with Your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” May we never become desensitized to the sight of the Blood!
8/4/20 – Rejoicing in the Human Things We See
(taken from 365 Meditations for Men)
Week 31, Tuesday
This intriguing sentence comes near the end of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Galatia. Apparently he had used an amanuensis, or professional writer, to pen the letter for him up to this point. Then, in a desire to become more personal, more intimate, he seized the stylus from the writer’s hand and scribbled some words himself. But when he looked at his marks on the papyrus, he saw how large and awkward they seemed in comparison with the writer’s.
The Galatians doubtless saw many things as they read Paul’s letter, for it was one of his masterpieces. He showed them the folly of continuing to be entangled in legalism after discovering the grace of God in Jesus Christ. He talked extensively of the difference between living by the flesh – human nature – and living in the Spirit of God. But they were probably greatly intrigued by the sight, at the end of the letter, of Paul’s own handwriting, which made the letter all the more personal and meaningful.
In today’s mail I received a packet from a woman in another state containing a small booklet of her minister husband’s writings. I had known him years ago. The writings are not outstanding, but they are dear to my friend’s wife and she wanted to honor him by having them published. I read them quite reverently, because I know how important they were to her. My face still feels a little crusty from the tears I shed as my friend’s writings brought him and his personality vividly to mind.
One of the things about learning to see in the Spirit of God is how much more meaningful it makes the little things of life – the handwriting of a loved one, a letter from a friend, the sight of calluses on an old person’s hand, the beauty of a teacup, the taste of a loaf of bread, the smell of a rose. For then we see that it is all a part of the interrelatedness with which God has made the world, and the richness of the lives we are permitted to lead. And the little things then bring us back to God – sometimes with tears in our eyes!
Thank you, dear God, for the sometimes overwhelming beauty of the world in which I live. Grant that I may never see anything at all without being reminded of you, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
(Killinger, John; 365 Meditations for Men; Nashville; Dimension for Living; 1998)
I could have died four different ways when I went into the end of that guardrail backwards at 60 mph. I could feel the Jeep starting to lean as I went into the slide and I was waiting for it to flip at least onto its side, if not all the way over. Had that happened, the end of that guardrail would have come through the top and gotten me.
Had the Jeep taken any longer to spin around, had it not rotated at the precise speed it did, the end of that guardrail would have come through my canvas door and tried to push me out of the other side.
Had the end of that guardrail not broken over the way it did, in a way it’s not designed to, it would have come in the back and tried to push me out through the windshield. Instead, it stopped just inches from the back of my seat, and pushed the Jeep away as it broke over.
But God’s hand was around me that morning – He apparently has more for me to do. As the slide on the wet road began, I had just enough time for one “Help me, Jesus,” before just closing my eyes and riding it out. By the time it was all done, the Jeep was sitting on it’s wheels in the ditch, and I stepped out – sore, but nothing broken.
I owe my life to God’s control of the uncontrollable.