I just want to make a couple of points about this…
Last night, I was at a Granite City with a friend when the news of Bin Laden’s death broke. We had the Bar tender turn up the volume, and listened in. My first two emotions were excitement at the justice done, and a sense of safety.
But how should we feel? This morning I scanned the comments on Facebook, and saw two extremes. The first was celebration, the second was anger toward those celebrating.
But perhaps there is a better way to respond than to those two extremes. I saw other people say stuff more along the lines of, “we should be happy justice is done, but we should be careful not to rejoice in the death of the wicked.”
This I think is the tension we need to live in. We should desire justice, and hate death. Why?
The desire for justice is natural. The death of an image bearer of God is not.
We should listen to the hearts of those who rejoice at Bin Laden’s death. Evil to needs to be confronted, and we should desire evil to be retarded. This is why governments exist. The death of Bin Laden accomplishes that. Perhaps families of those who lost loved ones on 9/11 will feel a sense of justice, and perhaps lives in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere will be spared because he is dead. Perhaps other terrorists will fear. These are good desires.
We should also listen to those who warning against celebration. We should be careful not to think that Bin Laden’s death will heal our wounds from 9/11 and that it will secure ultimate peace. I can assure you it will not.
Bin Laden, no matter how evil had the marks of his Creator upon him, and for that we should grieve. He was a human being like the rest of us. Perhaps this is why we should pray for our enemies. Death is not natural, is is the product our our rebellion as a race. And so we all die.
Let’s live in the tension. Pray that justice would be done. Pray for the healing of those who have lost. Pray for God to put an end to wars.
That said, please view the thoughts of D.A. Carson. His thoughts are similar to mine, and so I am glad to be in the company of men such as him…
As Christians, Easter should be the most festive day of the year. We should throw parties, we should break out the wine,and beer. We should arrange live music to be performed all day. Flowers should carpet our floors and clothe our tables. Roasts and pies should fill our homes and churches with the aroma of blessing. Children should ride the backs of their fathers. Wives should be showered with kisses from their men. Brothers, sisters and friends should embrace one another with tears in their eyes at the euchatastrophe of Christ’s Resurrection. All glasses should be raised:
“To the King, He is risen from the dead.
To the King Who Israel awaited, and answered the promise.
To the King Who lived beautifully, and died for all.
To the King who overcame death, and lives that the world may live again.
To the King who the Church awaits, and who will answer the premise.
To the King, He is risen from the dead.”
Now, whether God speaks to us in the realm of nature or in that of grace, in creation or in re-creation, through Logos or in Christ, in the Spirit of God or in the Spirit of Christ, it is always the same God we hear speaking to us.
– Herman Bavinck,
Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 2, God and Creation, p. 75.
“The desert shatters the soul’s arrogance and leaves body and soul crying out in thirst and hunger. In the desert, we trust in God or we die.”
From Dan Allender’s The Healing Path
This morning I’ve been thinking about some of the guys in my life. Guys I hold in my heart. Guys who have been through a lot over the last year. Guys who have shown their quality.
I was thinking about how we might face the future, which at times feels ambiguous, and even cause for fear. We have questions like:
Who am I? What should I do with my life? Who are we? Who is God? What is God doing with all this? Are things going to fall apart? What is our center?
I have a few suggested answers as we face the future. Suggested, because I cannot force anyone to take me seriously. Answers because I believe there is a God out there, who is not quiet about himself, or the world he put is in. None of them will come as a shock. But they still might be helpful.
1. You are a man created in God’s image. Though you are broken, you still show signs of his image.
2. You are God’s, and if you are God’s you answer to him, and yet you are held by Him.
3. Jesus Christ is King. The future, is held by him, including yours.
4. If you are Christ’s, nothing can separate you from Him.
5. You are apart of God’s Story. “The word was good, the world is fallen, the world will be redeemed.” This is the story you are being caught up in.
6. You are a part of the Kings progeny. His family. He will not abandon you. He will not abandon his bride. No matter the hell on earth that comes. He can be trusted.
I am learning that the wilderness of trials is the place where we are stripped of our pride, and made into men and women who are more suited to posture ourselves within the world for good.
The more I think I have my act together, the more damage I do to the world. The more I posture myself towards others as a savior to them.
In the wilderness of trials, I realize that I need a savior. In the wilderness I realize I need other people. There I realize that my messiah complex is utter folly. There is only one Messiah. There is only one Savior. Jesu, Jesu, Jesu. In the broken state the wilderness brings to I begin to commend Him to others as savior, rather than me being the savior for my commendation.
Without wilderness I would continue as a psudo-messiah. God help me.