Thursday, December 18, 2008
between weep and pray
In yesterday's post I talked about Hans Rookmaaker's response to our broken world: weep, pray, think, work. I would say that I am at different points along this sequence for different parts of my life. There are some things for which I am praying, others I am thinking through, and still others toward which I am working. But there is one thing in particular I am weeping over and I need to talk about it.
The other day I had a conversation with a friend that broke my heart. I won't go into detail here, but at the end of the discussion I was left to face the reality that my friend, a professed Christian, does not love God's Word. Doesn't want to read it, doesn't want to listen to it, and certainly doesn't want to hear it preached. Something simpler please. Something broken down and easily digested. Nothing confusing or hard to pronounce.
I don't want a simple, easy God! I don't want 3 Steps to Success. I don't want to send someone else up the mountain while I sit at home with my golden calf. I want the living, breathing, holy Word of God to speak into my life every day. I need it. I'm half-dead without it.
And so I'm sad. I weep. Don't live half-dead, my friend! Don't choose the tame, made-up fairy tale god, the safe and watered-down version. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is scary and confusing and hard to understand... but He is also real and true and good. His Word has unfamiliar cultural references, hard-to-pronounce names, and long genealogies... but it holds life and breath and truth.
When Moses is about to die and he is giving instructions to Joshua and the Israelites, this is the last thing he says to them:
"These are not just idle words for you -- they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess." (Deuteronomy 32:47)
The Word of God in the Bible is not just idle words, to be taken or left without consequence. If we love God, we love His Word. He has not really left us another option.