Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Radiance of the King

Dr. Luke must have been freaking out as he watched thousands of tormented, disturbed and just generally sick people crowding around Jesus. Think about it. 2000 years ago, if you were sick….you were SICK. A bad cut could kill you. An impacted tooth could kill you. There was no such thing as antibiotics, aspirin, band-aids, “stitches”, vaccinations, tetanus shots and the list just keeps going on and on. And that doesn’t even begin to mention anti-depressants or any other kind of help for the psychologically needy person.

One of the words that Dr. Luke chose to use to describe some of the throngs crowding Jesus was the greek word “nosos” which had a notion of being morally messed up. Another word he picked was “astheneia” which had to do with being painfully backward and mostly emotionally feeble. Nice group of folks, huh? And we’re talking herds, packs, pulsing, pushing, grabbing masses. Oh, and one other thing….hygiene….deodorant….tooth paste? Forget about it….

But beyond that collective, crusty mess of humanity, Dr. Luke records his astonishment at what was happening to these people…. “the multitude were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all”… “laying His hands on every one of the them, He was healing them”… “great multitudes were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses”… “the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing”.

Dr. Luke’s reflection of all this was that Jesus kept referencing that this activity was the presence of the Kingdom of God. This presence, evidently, was a radiance or a transcendent power that was pushing away and pulsing through crowds like a giant beam of creativity making broken lives completely well! Jesus was giving off this force field of health, well being and wholeness that was more contagious than the sicknesses which were being eradicated.

In one location, so many people were profoundly impacted by this “aura” that they, quite naturally, begged Him to stay. His response summarizes my theme here; “I must preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.” Dr. Luke’s cataloging of these outrageous events is the chronicle of what the Kingdom of God does and how it influences a region.

What does this mean to me? I want to become a bearer of that radiance. And not only that, but I want to start a revolution of that kind of transcendent supremacy. If the Chernobyl disaster can leave a sickening radiation field for 10,000 years, then how much more can the Resurrection of Christ produce a domination of health that can send Holy Shock Waves through a region?

If the Kingdoms of this world are to become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, then somebody needs to start something that is seriously buckling some knees. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can say for myself….I desperately want this kind of Kingdom Reality in and around me. Church status quo has now become part of the sickness of our society.

Enough! I cry out, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…”.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dear God,

Dear God,

Hi. How's Your day going? Do You have "days"? I can't really wrap my mind around that. Well, any-hoo...

I've got several things on my mind today. I'd like a moment of Your time....hmmm....what's time like for You? Dang, there I go again.....oh....sorry for the "dang".....well, sorry for the word that was in my heart that got translated, "dang". Alright, here we the point.

As I said, there are some pressing things on my mind today. A passenger jet went down in the Ukraine yesterday. I've got a couple of friends in the Ukraine this week. They would have been flying. Are they OK? I'm not hearing anything, so I'm assuming they're fine.....right? Right? That's bothering me....

Last month, do You remember.....sorry about that....of course You of our church board members, and a good friend, had a heart attack, right here in my front of me no less..... I wasn't sure why that was still laying pretty heavy on my mind until yesterday when I talked to another good friend who has to have bypass surgery this week. We are all about the same age, and suddenly I'm listening to every thump of my own heart. Could You fix it so that the rest of my friends would stop making me nervous like this? Oh, and heal my friends too.... sorry.....I'm being pretty narcissistic, huh? Yea....well...let's keep that just between the 2 of us. I have an image to maintain....

There's some other stuff too, but suddenly I'm feeling pretty selfish. I thought praying would help me feel's not working. Are You mad? It's not that the whole "time" thing, is it? Hello....anybody up there? Crap; now I'm really bothered. Oh, sorry again for the "c" word... OK, OK, OK!!! I'm sorry for the REAL word that got translated into the "c" word. Geez......

Uhm.....does "geez" mean something else? Crap, I mean.....dang it.....I mean....hey look at the time....well, not that time means anything to You....does it?

Your Pal,


Thursday, August 10, 2006

If Not Here, Where? If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?

When Jesus hit the shores of earth with His outrageous new message, He said, "The wait is over. God's strategic plan is finally and once for all, in place. The pervasive and pervading quality of God's perfect authority, command and domain is within everyone's reach. Change all your previous thinking about what constitutes 'religion' and believe in this announcement of perfect wholeness for all humankind." While this wording may not be familiar to you, it is the R.D.V. of Mark 1:15. I love the R.D.V. It's my favorite translation. It speaks from and to the heart. My heart, that is. It's the Randy Dean Version as revealed by the Spirit of Truth.

The last time this perfect and pervasive influence had been present on earth was at the creation. God and humans were at complete harmony with each other. Health, wholeness, happiness, artistic creativity, breathtaking beauty and true human potential were unlimited. Man opted out of that plan and chaos, disease and tragic limitations followed. But, because God is infinitely good beyond all definitions, He put in place a long range plan for the restoration of His creation. That plan found its new genesis in the aforementioned arrival of Jesus, the Christ.

God's desire for humans to own and manage planet earth has never been rescinded, but it awaited the arrival of the next Man, or Son of Man, to kick start the plan all over again. Hence, the announcement Jesus made. From that announcing point forward Jesus set out to prove His claim. He took control, or domain over the chaos, disease and tragic limitations that the first man had chosen. If someone was blind, Jesus said, "Here's a taste of God's original plan; SEE!". If someone was dead, Jesus said, "God never planned for death to be the 'norm' on earth. LIVE!". If a party needed wine, Jesus said, "OK. This pushes the limits just a bit, but I'm game. Hey water.....PARTY!".

Millions of dollars of lotto money are wasting away in banks all over America. Why? Because hundreds of winners have failed to claim their prizes. It's true. Prizes great and small have been neglected because many people have simply forgotten that they had a lotto ticket or they just tossed the numbers aside thinking, "What's the use. I'll never win anything." Similarly, a prize beyond measure has been "buried" in the field of the earth. Jesus said that the pervading and pervasive influence of God's domain was and is BACK. He also tantilizingly said (in Matthew 13:44-46) that it had been "buried" as a dare for someone, somewhere to sell everything they have in order to go buy that field and unearth the treasure.

Too many elements of God's church today are starving, spiritually bankrupt and totally ineffective when the truth is, they are wealthy beyond imagination. They could be a city placed on a hill, the light of the world with the nations streaming to them happily begging for their tangible Good and the Living God. But sadly, many are just resigned to an insignificant holding pattern, waiting for their number to be called so they can leave the planet that was assigned to their charge.

I don't want to go anywhere until I've finished my desparate search. Along the path of my life, I have worn out 3 or 4 shovels digging for that buried treasure I mentioned earlier. Just recently, however, my newest shovel went into the dirt and I felt a sudden "thud". Moments later I was weeping over an open heavens that I found just beneath my feet. With this discovery in hand, I'd like to invite you to join me at the local expression of the church I'm pastoring. I'm throwing a wedding feast for my portion of the Bride of Christ and the Groom is in the back room contemplating what to do with several water pots at His disposal.

Wanna party with us?