Note:The writer of this blog offers you a humble apology. There have not been any posts in the last few months. I was on a break. While it is not wrong to be on a break, it was not right that readers were kept uninformed of the same.
It’s possible that you are a person who has been hurt by the church in the past. Or, you have never, ever, felt the need to depend on or trust church members with the good and bad in your life. And yet, today you might find yourselves surrounded by sincere, yet imperfect Christians in God’s sovereign plans.
You know in the back of your mind that God’s Word commands the disciples of Jesus to treat one another with deep, fervent love. You’ve heard time and again, the call to live truly as a church family. But you really can’t trust these people.
And why should I, you may ask? “I have no friends in the church. Whenever I’ve tried, they have only given me more problems. So it makes sense to avoid them now”, you say. “Tolerance and silent participation worked in school; it works here too”.
Siblings just don’t know how to live with one another. At least, that’s what you would say if you tried to trace out the lives of most siblings in the Bible.
We see Cain murder Abel, Jacob tricking Esau and Joseph being sold into slavery by his own older brothers. Jesus’ biological brothers made fun of the very Son of God- we’re glad He did not zap them with thunderbolts in return. If you’ve had siblings, you would have had your (un)fair share of animosity, bruises and tears.
But sibling apathy is another matter. This less-intensive but destructive phenomenon is easily noticeable in adults.
Sheetal and I have been reading this book ‘Sensing Jesus’, in which the author Zack Eswine writes about a pastor’s insights on the value system he had been noting in his church. The culture involved professionalism to an extreme where hardly any grace was shown when mistakes were made. Something the pastor said struck me as oddly familiar:
We tried recently to invite folks for dinner and then spend time together with no agenda other than to get to know each other. 85% of the folks left immediately after dinner. Many… told us that, as pastors, we were wasting their time because we gave them nothing to do but sit with people.
Eswine was pointing to our tendency to embrace what is popular and Jesus’ disdain towards living the celebrity life. But I realized that the same tendency which the pastor saw in his people in that church ran deep in my spiritual veins.
“Why should we do holidays and (sinfully?) enjoy long fun trips?
Isn’t that all wrong?”
I tend to go there often.
The devil is the prince of extremes. He will teach us that the absence of enjoyment and celebration is a holy life. Then, anyone who appears pious should go to Heaven. Why does God command His people to celebrate His goodness in various festivals in the Old Testament which were practiced even in the New Testament? Why does then Jesus gladly participate in a wedding in Cana (John 2:1-3)? Jesus never stopped worshipping God, the Father. Can celebration be worship?
It’s the presence of God’s Holy Spirit in a person and His fruit that is indicative of His holiness in Christians. Along with this goes the growing hatred against and absence of sin. And God sees through fake appearances all the time. As the Marg membership handbook reminds me, it’s what or who we celebrate that matters. More than mere actions, the motives matter. Continue reading “The Marg Goa Trip – 2016”
This world is broken, yet wrong-doing and pain takes you by surprise and anguish.
Marriages wither and become impassable gulfs.
Party leaders and national figures suddenly pass away.
Music bands split and inspiring movie stars wind up in jail.
There are, of course, reasons why such things happen. Marriages die due to lack of adoration and hard work and often, little adulteries that compound into a deadly avalanche of separation and divorce. Bands split due to misunderstandings and pride.
Party leaders die because death is the final equalizer and movie stars become prisoners because the law is a close second in the art of equalising.
Sin is at the root of all things that can go wrong and will go wrong.