“Vivian!…Vivian!…Vivian!” that’s mom calling.
It’s Sunday morning,the night was too short,it’s cold,am sleepy…did I sleep in the first place? Huh!Yes,infact overslept!LoL…
“I can’t imagine a Sunday spent at home,” I tell myself as I prepare to head to church and service begins in an hour’s time.On arriving,the one thing that is really felt and is so evident is the presence of God,I mean,such a powerful feeling this is!A totally different world.This reminds me of those cartoons and Sci-Fi movies that involve ‘time travel’ or a sudden environment change within the same scene in a span of 30 seconds…familiar?
Anyway,so I arrive and the service begins I am sucked into the ‘saturated-in-the-presence of God’ mood and I do not want it to end. The session of the Word begins and the Pastor talks about the family and the gospel in light of Genesis 3.I must confess that never have I visualised this chapter in the manner I did on that day.
He talks about the snake which targets the woman and not the man,how Eve exaggerated Gods instructions… details I never gave so much attention to were expounded in great detail with skill and expertise and to add onto this,the application was clearly outlined and a prayer said.That is the time I tell myself that I shall put all I have heard to practise.An excitement I cannot contain or explain bubbles within me and I can boldly say that I was grateful I did not cave in to how I felt that morning.
After the words of the grace,the world is waiting…What happens to the words we listen to so keenly at church?What about the inner vows we make to God after every sermon?Where does the excitement go to?Why does it dwindle so fast?
Right at the exit of the church,we find something to complain about,a worry or doubt that creeps in…we end up getting ‘lost in the woods’ of our worries,troubles,doubts,murmurs, complaints… The worries of the world dilute everything we heard in a very short span of time.After a busy week,we are back to church.
I recently thought this over and realised that it is very easy to escape the world and it’s troubles by appearing in church every Sunday and doing all that needs to be done,but it is not an easy task to search our hearts and identify the motive behind doing what we do.1 Samuel 16:7 says,…the Lord sees the heart while we look at outward appearances.
Picture a cup,as long as you keep washing the outside but the inside is dirty,there comes a time when the cup won’t be in use either because it is unpleasant or has a repelling stench.
I wouldn’t want a scenario where Christ tells me,”…I never knew you.Away from me you evildoers”.I believe you do not want that too.
Our typical justification would be,”I gave my tithes,reached out to the poor,obeyed my parents infact all the ten commandments I kept,never missed a Sunday service…”
See Matthew 7:21 where Jesus says,”Not everyone who says to me Lord,Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”
Christianity goes beyond the outward, it is ‘ deep stuff’ not an ‘on- the-surface’job.Our hearts, our hearts,our hearts…let’s intentionally search our hearts to point where we become the ‘good soil’ that hears,understands and puts to practise Gods’ word. This is Gods’ heart throb,His desire for us.(See Matthew 13:1-23 for more of the parable of the Sower)
God does not require our sacrifices but a broken and contrite Spirit.We need Him.C.S Lewis in his book Mere Christianity stamps all these by drawing a very interesting picture of God speaking,
“Give me all of you!I do not want so much of your time,talent and money and so much of your work.I want YOU! ALL OF YOU!I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman,but to KILL IT!No half measures will do. I do not want only to prune a branch here and a branch there,rather I want the whole tree out!Hand it over to me,the whole outfit,all if your desires,all of your wants,wishes and dreams.Turn them ALL over to me.Give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self…in my image.Give me yourself and in exchange,I will give you Myself.My will shall become your will and my heart,your heart”
Isn’t this a reflection of the selfless gospel of Christ?Think about this.
May God help us see what is most needful in this journey of Christianity and may we reach a point where we can boldly say like Paul, “To live is Christ and to die is gain”
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