Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Devotional 200410

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. My nose is especially grateful for the rain that helped cleans the pollens from the air. My office is very quiet as some of my coworkers are in ministers’ retreat. Hopefully it gives me more time to catch up on my writing. The busyness of life always take away our time to reflect on the Words of God for our well being in Him.

All the same, we continue to have an unquenchable thirst for wholeness, a hunger for righteousness. When we get thoroughly disgusted with the deceptions and cretins that are served up to us daily as celebrities, some of us turn to Scripture to satisfy our need for someone to look up to. What does it mean to be a real man, a real woman? What shape does mature, authentic humanity take in everyday life?

When we do turn to Scripture for help in this matter we are apt o be surprised. One of the first things that strikes us about the men and women in Scripture is that they were disappointingly non-heroic. We do not find splendid moral examples. We do not fine faultlessly virtuous models. That always comes as a shock to newcomers to Scripture: Abraham lied; Jacob cheated; Moses murdered and complained; David committed adultery; Peter blasphemed.

We read on and begin to suspect intention: a consistent strategy to demonstrate that the great, significant figures in the life of faith were fashioned from the same clay as the rest of us. We find that Scripture is sparing in the information that it gives on people while it is lavish in what it tells us about God. It refuses to feed our lust for hero worship. It will not appeal to our adolescent desire to join a fan club. The reason is, I think, clear enough. Fan clubs encourage secondhand living. Through pictures and memorabilia, autographs and tourist visits, we associate with someone whose life is (we think) more exciting and glamorous than our own. We find diversion from our own boring existence by riding on the coattails of someone exotic.

When I heard and saw, I fell on my face to worship at the feet of the Angel who laid it all out before me. He objected, “No you don’t! I’m a servant just like you and your companions, the prophets, and all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!” (Rev 22:8-9) Hero worship is truly a natural tendency of mankind. Moreover, it is common for mankind to deify our hero too. Angels are above mankind in terms of their ability and roles. They are spiritual beings with longevity. We admire their supernatural power, their beauty and their longevity, so we worship them as our hero. But the angel that John admired, stopped John to worship him, because they are being created with equal roles with men, which is to be the servant of God.

Throughout the Scripture, God used imperfect people to inspire our faith. The message is loud and clear. We all need a savior and a God of second chances. He knows our weaknesses and He is ready to forgive our sins. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Sometimes, it is because of our human desire for hero worship that we do not allow another human being to show signs of weaknesses. Pope for example cannot be wrong or weak because he is the earthly head of the Catholic Church. In the same token, we do not allow some “star pastors” to be weak or make mistake in general (not necessarily the immoral one). The mega-church becomes his fan club. People go to church each week mainly to listen to his sermon. They will tune in to his radio program and buy his book. This kind of practice is not only a bad theology. It gives a lot of pressure and temptation for those pastors to put on an image according to the expectation of their fans. This is dangerous to build our faith on human beings or angels because we are only servants created by God. You should worship God and God alone! Amen.

Love you as fellow servant of Christ,