There have been a number of times throughout my life that I have encountered God’s blessings, his mercy, and his discipline.When I was little, I sat in my grandmother’s lap hearing stories of Daniel in the Lion’s Den.When I was a teenager, I could see God working in my life.When I was in college, I could feel his call.When I got married and and had kids and was told my wife would die (she did not), I could feel his peace.I am convinced the Big Guy Upstairs is real, not that I’d ever doubted. There was no doubting in my mind that He was both very real and very involved — not an abstract or detached Creator. This pattern has repeated itself throughout my life, sometimes to my liking and sometimes definitely not to my liking. But still, it played out.
A few years ago, my wife decided to leave her job to stay home with our children. We could not make ends meet if she did it, so we prayed fervently about what to do. We decided God would provide. She left her job, our insurance, and our safety net. Within three days I received a pay raise for the first time in three years equal to my wife’s salary. Within a week, CNN came calling. WIthin a year, WSB Radio needed someone to replace Herman Cain on the radio. None of this would have been possible had my wife not felt compelled to be a stay at home mom.
Some will look at all this and chalk it up to coincidence or luck or even my own skill. But I know I am not that lucky and I am not that skillful.At this time of year we are confronted with the question of whether He is real. C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic-on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg-or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.”We see the hostility of this world to Christ and must often remind ourselves that this world does hate Christ and those things of Christ and people of Christ. The Media Research Center brings word this morning about Queer Christ, the Christ who really is not for the people who really are not. I used that line on twitter and there has been an outpouring of condemnation.I get that many want to wrap themselves up in Christ and feel the right wants a monopoly on Christ, but as much as those of us on the right need to do more to show we realize we don’t have a monopoly on Christ, the left needs to understand that it has obligations too. Anything goes does not go with Christ. We are not to judge, but we are to apply the standards Christ and his Apostles set forth as we live our live. We are to know right from wrong and to recognize there really is a right and a wrong and a moral and an immoral and a good and an evil.Christ is not political. He is righteous.The funniest comment about my link to the MRC story on Queer Christ was from a kid on Facebook who said, “(I don’t actually believe in your Jesus, but I do enjoy stuff like this as it proves none of you have learned anything from the Gospels.” It is always humorous to see one who does not believe claiming we know nothing from the Gospels.Christ is for everyone, but not everyone wants him as he truly is. They want their Christ. Everyone, all of us, fall into that trap. But some refuse to recognize it and get out of it. They want their sin and their Jesus.Over the next three days we remember the three days that have had a bigger impact on the history of mankind than any other. You can deny that Christ was crucified, despite historic, secular sources that confirm the event. You can deny that Christ rose again from the dead.What you cannot deny is that what so many treat as fact and others scorn as cheap, recycled myth has shaped art, science, culture, literature, and government more profoundly than any other event.I personally have a hard time believing that any myth would be so powerful and so lasting. Today we remember Christ’s death. On Sunday, we remember He lives.