Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy New Year


The strength of a thousand men can never compare with the strength of one desperate mother in Darfur who openly resists the dictates of bullets and deprives herself of the nutrition she needs to survive in order to desperately attempt to keep her infant alive. Her mission soars above the small minded rhetoric and the disgusting machinations that consistently take place within the “hallowed” walls of the congress. While congressmen dine sumptuously and engage in endless insanity, this mother gives what little life she still has in order to overcome insurmountable odds and save her child. While we live in Disneyland, she lives in death. Happy New Year.

Somewhere there is a gay man who hates himself. He cannot do enough drugs or drink enough alcohol to alleviate his self loathing and fear. He has been rejected by his family, his church, and he believes God hates him as well. Sometimes he cuts himself, but inside his head there are many different voices. He hears preachers rail against his kind, and without God, where does he go? He has even tried to suppress his attractions, but to no avail. He is depressed beyond words and his thoughts of suicide seem to compound daily. There is coming a day when that will seem like the only escape and he will embrace it as a gift. While we live in heterosexual heaven, he lives in homosexual death. Happy New Year.

In Anytown, USA there is a stripper. She does drugs and makes money lending out her body. When she was five her mother moved in with a man who began molesting her. She told her mother and her mother called her a liar. The weight of fear and guilt was overwhelming, and she began doing drugs. She moved in with the first man who would have her. She lives in a constant state of self loathing and deep depression. Without any skills she became a stripper. People protest outside her club and yell about sin. She wonders if Jesus was ever real, and if He is she knows He hates her. While we pursue the abundant life, she lives in a corpse. Happy New Year.

Here is a most successful man dying in his success. He has as much money as one could imagine, but all his money is useless to his spirit. It feels so hollow to him. He cannot understand what is happening. He has achieved what millions would want, and even those who profess religion seek what he has. His existence has become meaningless but he trudges on, hiding what has died within him. Material things have lost their luster, and the honor he receives from people has become an expected nuisance. Slowly he dies and dies and dies. While we call them God’s blessings, he knows them as the curse of death. Happy New Year.

She is a little Pakistani girl of eight years old. Her brother was killed last week by an American drone strike. She misses her brother terribly and she walks in mortal fear that the skies will reign death down upon her as well. She wonders why. Her parents, Muslims, have told her that people who believe in Jesus did this to her brother. She knows nothing about Jesus, but if that is what Jesus does, she hates Him. While we are inundated by all sorts of Christian literature and programs and elaborate music services, this little girl has no one to tell and show her who Jesus is. We worry about gas prices while she worries about falling death. Happy New Year.
She is approaching forty years old. Her husband left her for a younger woman last year, and she struggles to work and be both parents to her three girls. She has no money left over, and her husband has long since disappeared and sends no support. She attends the evangelical church down the street and prays continually that God would supply her family’s needs. Many months they run short. Her church is asking for pledges so they can build a new building. The pastor rides in a Mercedes and takes weeks long vacations with his family. The church borrows the money and makes monstrous monthly payments. The church rejoices in their new surroundings while she gives thanks for God supplying the monthly rent for the four of them. Happy New Year.

These scenarios could be duplicated many times over. They represent the poor and wretched among us. They represent the ones who Jesus sought. They represent those who we seldom consider. They are the sinful, the fallen, and the hurting. They are the fields to which we have been called. And if the church could ever extricate itself from itself these people might just see what they ultimately need. Jesus.

Happy New Year....


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post. I needed that.

Anonymous said...

Rick-it's becoming more obvious this is life nowadays . It's sad that most people don't think about their neighbor next door or halfway around the world. God help us to be thankful one more day and share not just our earthly possessions but Him too. Happy New Year. (Noel)

Chris Baumgart said...

Our mission hasn't changed, as an extension of the person of Christ we the church must go out onto the harvest... I pray to keep focused on my relationship with Him, not to be caught up in worldly busy-ness. 2012 was a lesson in Humility for the christian church and I believe it hasn't sunk deep enough to make a difference yet. Letting the poor and the uninsured drift away while the church follows their mammon laddened plans of "god blessed prosperity" - smacks in the face of tending to the real inner working of each of us! Christians need to dig deep into their hearts to unearth the selfishness that is stubborn, that stifles the Holy Sporit from doing greater works through his people. This soul searching and spirit filled self examination is critical to ones maturing in Christ. Pride is a high wall to climb over but the Lord shares examples of humility in his Word, take them to heart because this is our pathway to reviving the environment that God needs to secure lost souls. Christians press to make laws rather than practice Love. They seek to save themselves believing they're doing Gods work but truthfully they are still lost. May 2013 be a good year to learn to point our finger inward rather than blaming others for the mess we're in. Praise God for A new year to do this.

Cherie c. said...

What is so New, or Happy? What we need is is JOY, HIS JOY, not that of this world.

Again, I can only see myself as a terrible wretch. All I can do everyday is fall on my face and pray. Seek direction and in my limited capacity because I am under direct authority I wish I never had, I can only do what I can do.

Praying that all have a Repentant New Year, not a Happy one. There is however, JOY in repentance, I know, I experience it everyday. What a gift:

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Still, some days I cannot shake the remorse. Some days it doesn't seem like enough.

Most days I pray for:

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3

Even so Come, Lord Jesus

Thank you Pastor,

Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Amen! Thank you for spelling it out in relative terms much like Christ did in His parables. May God give us His eyes for humanity in 2013.