Radical Christianity

Click, Click, Click... With remote in hand and switching through all the cable television channels almost so fast that the screens of each station blend with the next, "There ain't nothing good on!"

ext, ext, ext... With fingers covering the most functional keycaps on the computer keyboard and skipping message after message until something catches our eye. "I'll be glad when we get on the internet."

Junk, Junk, Junk... Tossing bulkmail letter after letter, "Nothing but Junk mail!"

Shuffle, Shuffle, Shuffle... "Where's that article on ...."

There's so much happening, so much being thrown out before us on TV, computers, newspapers and magazines, junk mail. The first impulse for some of us is "Ain't nothing worth it."

Television, Radio, Computer telecommunications, Cable TV, satellite access. While we are living in the age of information We have a lot of it, but rather than being valuable, it is a maze that we have to try to navigate, a pile we have to dig through. While it can be useful, the trash is collecting on the roadsides of these various information highways, or else decorative taglines and signatures clutter the views.

Vanity, Vanity, Vanity... As king of Israel, Solomon had so much available to him and accessible with such ease, one might guess his life was one of luxury. And yet, we attribute the words of Ecclesiastes, "Vanity, vanity, vanity" to this king. When he uses this word, the definition is not one of being vain, or proud of one's beauty or other characteristics. Instead, his reflection on this life (under the sun) is that everything is vain, empty or useless.

We are so tempted to think MORE is BETTER. But, in so many things we find that More is NOT better. More is just more to dig through. We satisfy ourselves with this or that pleasure or experience, but we never "fill". We just keep several things going at once and run to something else when we get a bit bored. In this computer age, even knowledge (aka information) is taughted as valuable, almost life-giving, and yet it is so limiting. As this writer puts it, "Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh." If he could see us today.

One would really have to read ALL of Ecclesiastes to get a feel for what the author was saying about our life under the sun. In the third chapter he relates, "I also thought, ... Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows ..." (Ecclesiastes 3:19-21) That's not far from the secular perspective today.

That was centuries before the coming of Jesus and yet, he knew and proclaims readily about the nature of God and the place God has given man. "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set ETERNITY in the HEARTS of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11

Life is short, and like Job says, "full of trouble." Job 14:1. This is life in the fallen nature. Paul focused on both the problem and the solution when he says, "If we have hope in this life only, we are men most miserable." We need to view this life as it really is, SHORT and put our hope in the future life.

Drink, Drink, Drink... Jesus cried out, "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.'" John 7:37, 38.

Eat, Eat, Eat... Jesus said, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thrist." John 6:35

Light, Light, Light... Jesus said, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

The only way to find meaning in this life is to find our place in a relationship with God, in a relationship made possible by Jesus. With the spiritual nourishment that this relationship provides, we can be assured that our lives will continually be filled.

And, even with the worries of this world, we have Jesus' assurance that He will guide us in the way we should go in this life. And finally, it is because of our anticipation of the life after death that we can find lasting hope and faith. Paul thought of it this way,

"For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. ... For while we are still in this tent, we sigh with anxiety; ... He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage; we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight." II Cor 5:1-7

Next time you pick up the clicker and point it at the TV, think about life. With Jesus, it can be more than a Click, Click, Click.

Radical Christianity


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