which words? (John 1)

Posted: Apr 4, 2007 in Theology

It’s Wednesday now. My mind is racing from the upcoming weekend. It is a weekend where my neighbors will be coming over to our house, to dine with us, to break bread and share in the wine with us and to worship with us. And yet, what do i have to offer? Which words will speak into the lives of those who step under our roof?

    Truth be told, there is something that plagues me each and every week. OK, everyday. It is the fact that somehow i am called to be relevant with my words. i mean, the truth is i know how to speak relevance into the life of my churched brethren. i know the message they need to hear, how to “bring it” and how to bash them over the head with a grace oriented message that sends chills down their spine. When i preach to the church, it is clear to me the error of our ways and our lack of externally focused living. And so, i set out to afford a message from God that exhorts and (tries to) encourage the church into living life as ministers who simply try to share the love of God through Christ. Instead, i am afraid that i speak to my own weaknesses and ineptness at knowing how to live and walk as Christ. Father forgive my prideful words.

    But, today, here i sit in Savannah, TX. Given the opportunity of a life time. To practice what i have preach. To share the gospel with those who do not know Christ. To encourage and exhort them to a new way of life. Here i am surrounded by “christians” who have found our Lord and Savior at some point in their life but today have little to no relationship with God and his people. Here i sit among the hopeless, those seeking to find earthly relationships that will fill the void of our hopeless and dark world. People who want nothing more than a flashlight and a friend who will walk with them on the journey through the dark and treacherous world.

    Yet, i find that in this dark world, my words are just as empty and just as meaningless as ever. i speak, hoping that something i say, a word, might transform the lives of those next door. Forgetting that i am just a mere seed planter, hardly worthy of being called a disciple let alone one worthy of untying the sandals of Christ. And so i prepare, i labor, seeking to create the perfect setting, with the perfect songs, with the perfect words that will speak powerfully into the darkness. Yet, what i find is silence that resounds in the depths of my stomach. My words are inadequate, my preparations fail me, the plans of what i think is best, most attractive, most relevant and most orderly and easiest to control fall into the pits of darkness like lead balloons…

    …but wait, can you hear it? Ever so slightly, it rises to the forefront BUT it’s not my voice. It’s not what i had prepared OR where i intended for this time with my neighbors and friends to go. Can you hear it? It is barely noticeable at first. “In the beginning God created…”  The sound rises. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” Then another voice speaks, “If you need anything don’t hesitate to call.” And another, “i don’t know what we would have done with her, she has been there through the most difficult time of my life.” And yet another, “Can you please pray for me as i am recovering from my addictions?”

    i am reminded, that no matter what i say, no matter how faithful i seek to be. My words were not in the beginning. i have yet to create something from nothing and i have yet to offer a word that wasn’t there from the beginning. For it is the Light of humanity, that speaks beyond the fleshly words that i seek to captivate people with, that resemble the darkness more than the light, that only God and his Word, his Son, reveal in the simple loving actions of a community seeking to live in relationship with him by loving because we are the first loved. It is in those moments that the light overcomes the darkness and reveals the path less trodden. Here, though narrow, those lost in the darkness find curbs that are well defined, the asphalt is freshly laid and we can see without feeling around for in the dark where we are heading. Here, a “christian world” finds that it is better to have flood lights on the straight and narrow than a key light on the wide and winding roads of this life. For here Jesus is our focus and the fire that leads us from our captivity to the flesh.  Here God guides us into a life transformed by the warm rays of  the Son of God. Praise be to God for His Word, Jesus Christ!

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