Tuesday, September 25, 2012

God visits Dunder Mifflin

I recently have been re-watching the Office. In season 6, an episode called "The Christening" shows Jim and Pam's child being baptized. Now, the Offce is great at mockery and when I saw a church being involved I was interested because, lets face it: we have some of that mockery coming. Especially with having Christian versions of (fill in the blank. Music, books, mints, gum, video games.) Now Jesus music for the most part is pretty good, except for this.
This episode starts with Jim and Pam dedicating their baby with a fellowship lunch following. During this lunch, the church's youth group is announcing their missions trip to Mexico. Micheal Scott is so moved that he jumps on the bus driving from Pennsylvania to Mexico prompting Andy to join in the fun. Even though they neither portray anything remotely Christian in the show, they are inspired by the passion displayed by the youth (despite being heavily scripted). On the way there, Andy and Micheal begin to realize the setbacks of living in Mexico for 3 months and promptly asked to get off the bus, in a comical fashion. Despite this mockery, The Office is (was) one of my favourite shows.

Now that can be a picture of what our faith looks like. We see something and become a raging fire and when the crap hits the fan, we give up.

Philippians 1:6- "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus".   God begins a good work in all. He began it in me years ago and even though I continue to struggle, to fail to live a godly life, I am thankful that I am forgiven for my stupidity, my disobedience and my failures. I could not go on not knowing that.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Bubble

For almost 5 months now I have lived in Sauble Beach and I've gotten accustomed to the small town atmosphere again. After a recent visit to Kitchener, I realized how much I did not miss the city (but I do miss the people there a lot). Now graduated from EBC, I am in the world attempting to fulfill the Great Commission. I admit I am failing (at least I think so). EBC, despite always being my home and my alma mater is a bubble; a bubble of fellow Christians unified together. Now bubbles are quite easy to pop. Being in a Christian bubble is healthy for a period of time, but being so confined to it you cannot function outside is borderline insanity. Since I did not grow up in a Christian home, I had the opportunity to be out in the world talking to non-believers. Sure, a lot of them did not like what I had to say and I eventually became silent. Yes, Jesus did say "I am the way, truth and life" but not everyone will believe it sadly, so we have to stop forcing the gospel message on reluctant people. Pray over them! So, working in a secular setting may have (it has) caused me to slip behaviorally but it has also allowed me to better relate to people. I can kind of see where/how/why people become so complacent, so broken and so defiant. I can also see why people are so sour towards the church. We have painted such a terrible picture of the true church (Body of believers, not some building where we gather). To them knowledge is subjective. How can we spread the truth of Christ to a generation that says that? Well, we plant the seed and we have to allow God to til the soil.
I am drawn again to 1 Corinthians 4:12-13:  12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment. 

We become the scum of the earth? Ow. That's harsh but that's how the world sees us. 
Fix your eyes on Christ. Thinking of my past few months, I am ashamed of myself seeing where I failed socially and spiritually. As I wrote this, probably my favourite song of all time "Daylight" by Brave Saint Saturn (Five Iron Frenzy's side project) came on. The last stanza of the song is a hauntingly beautiful picture of the true redemtption and forgiveness found in the sacrfice of Christ. Salvation sealed, forgiven forever when we confess and believe Christ is Lord and nothing takes it away!
Here is the stanza: 

Jesus Christ, Light of the World 
You never did forget me 
And when I bled in darkness, You held me 
Still held me 
When desperate nights I cursed You 
You loved me, still loved me 
Jesus Christ, You dry the tears 
You break my heart of stone 
Your words are life 
Cut marrow through 
The darkness, to the bone 
A heart of flesh You gave me 
Only You can save me 

I am coming home. 

Wow... just.. wow. I remember being in tears upon first hearing this masterpiece. Find it on youtube, trust me! 
So there is a time where we need a Christian bubble and a time apart from it. Being away from it has drawn me to the utmost importance to find a community that worships God, believes in Christ and is theologically sound. I've found that in Sauble Christian Fellowship Church. Being out of the bubble allows us to be used by God to bring others in.
Psalm 61.