Roman 12:1-2

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Rising Sun

"But let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might."  Judges 5:31b


Imagine a world of darkness. Nuclear winter, perhaps. Cramped into bunkers underground, around the world, isolated from each other and the land Above, human beings struggle with boredom and family interactions in the light of lamps. Bright Colemans that grate on the nerves with their incessant hissing. Old folks tell the young 'uns about the good old days in the Above. But the youngsters have no concept of day, no concept of sun, no concept, even, of space and air.

Slowly the Old Ones die. The Young Ones grow up, and their parents become Old. Finally -- FINALLY -- enough time has passed, and life can resume in the Above.

Families emerge from underground cement bunkers like groundhogs thinking of shadows. They stand at the entrance to their existence, ready but wary of stepping into the Above.

The light is blinding. They squint and throw up their hands to block the glare. And yet, slowly, the hands come down, the eyes scan the horizon.

No matter what it is they see -- whether gray destruction or a land reborn -- it is beautiful to them. The light touches every feature of the landscape. It warms. It illuminates. It enlightens.


God's people are called to be like that sun. Bright, warm, illuminating, enlightening, in a spiritual darkness not unlike a nuclear winter. Even after the longest, darkest night, nothing can stop the rising of the sun in its might.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The One Behind

I read a lot, and many genres, but my favorite is historical fiction. Lately I have been reading a series set in WWII. The author bases his novels on real historical characters, researches them to the umpteenth degree. In this book, the main characters were General Eisenhower, Field Marshall Rommel (Germany), and Jesse Adams.

Ever hear of him? Probably not. He was a sergeant in the 82nd Airborne. But he is by far my favorite.

The four and five star generals are the ones making the decisions, moving troops and tanks and having meetings to confirm this or that. The three star generals wait for those meetings to end so they know where to send their own troops. Captains and Lieutenants lead the way.

But sergeants...they are the ones behind. Oh, Adams led them, walked before them often enough, used silent hand signals to tell them when to drop, when to advance. But he was also the one bringing up the rear to make sure no one got left behind. And he was the one calling for the medic and someone did get hit.


Sometimes, I think, we look at the Christian life and we think, "I'm not doing anything if I'm not on stage, or in a pulpit, or writing or speaking or teaching." 

I would say those people -- the preachers and teachers and well-known ones -- are the generals. Out front, or making decisions from behind, sometimes taking flak when things go wrong. They organize and impact the lives of hundreds or thousands.

But I think I am better suited to being a sergeant: the one who comes alongside and says, "Keep going, soldier. We're not through yet." A sergeant may kick you in the butt when necessary, but he won't leave you behind, either.

That's the kind of Christian I want to be.