26 November 2007

Leavenworth Made the Lark!

The town I graduated high school from made the Lark.


11 November 2007

"...of whom I am the worst."

Romans 2

We teach best that which we need learn most.

In other words, this lesson is for my own benefit.

I like to judge others. when somebody asks me how my day is without waiting for a response, I judge them. When somebody spends money on something they don't need, or often times, don't even want, I judge them. And let me say this - over the past nineteen years, I've gotten very, very good at it. College classes have made sure of that. Now, I can not only judge the person, but classify them into cultural subsets and judge those as well. I can rant against consumerism, Hollywood, urban culture, suburban culture, mass production, and the newly-coined term affluenza. Like the prayer of the Pharisee, I thank God that I am not like those who give into their commercial identity.

Meanwhile, my book and CD collections continue to grow and I search for clothing that proclaims that I am not like the rest of the world.

Paul was talking to me.
Or rather, I think, Paul was talking to himself. Paul tells his follower Timothy, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of whom I am the worst." This is the same Paul who authored the majority of the New Testament and is considered to be the third most influential person in history (last list I saw placed him just behind Jesus and Muhammad, but that was four years ago).

Like Paul, we are all sinners. Worse yet, we all try to take the place of the Judge, the very person we claim to follow. And yet, we, along with the rest of the world, are called to be followers of the Risen Lord.

What then, shall we do? We take Martin Luther's advice. We sin boldly. We admit that we are sinners and drop our false pretenses. But we believe in Christ more boldly still.

Rock on.

04 November 2007

Rich Men Don't Climb Trees - But Perhaps They Should

Luke 19:1-10

This story brings back memories for me. Memories of juice boxes, songs, and that one week of summer vacation of which I'm not bored. And of course, memories of climbing trees. Though the memories of climbing trees are only from last week.

Yes, I still climb trees. I am one of the few college students I know who will give up a Saturday evening to climb the magnolias on North Campus. I get weird looks. My friends most likely fancy me mad. And admittedly, it's not a very common thing to do. I have yet to see anyone over the age of twenty-five climb a tree (with the exception of scientists on the National Geographic channel doing research in the Amazon). Somehow, I get this sneaking feeling that adult who climbed a tree would instantly be knocked down a rung on the social ladder.

Tax collectors were not popular. A chief tax collector was probably hated. A short chief tax collector who climbed trees was probably lucky he didn't get stoned. It's just not something that's done.

In the movie Luther, Martin Luther (Joseph Fiennes - yes, Voldemort's brother) is delivering a lesson to children about the Prodigal Son. He says that the father's reaction is extraordinary - the wealthy old man runs to great his son. Rich men don't run. They don't hike up their clothes and dash across fields. And yet the old man runs to greet his son, the sinner. Similarly, Zaccheus, the sinner, runs to meet the Son, the Saviour.

Running and climbing trees. This short man must have looked more like a fool than ever. But it was well worth it. Zaccheus, having little public dignity left from his life as a tax collector, was willing to humiliate himself for the joy of laying his eyes upon the Christ.

Rock on.