Did you know that Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team is doing really well right now on Dancing with the Stars? Baltimore Ravens fans are upset with his success and launching a vote against Hines campaign. Go Hines!
I’m on top of all of this, but not because I watch the show. The Pittsburgh area news stations provide an update just about every evening. To be honest, it all really bugs me! My real concern isn’t about how well Hines is dancing or whether Ravens fans despise him, but why a trivial entertainment issue garners so much attention on the nightly news. But there it is–right up there with earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear meltdowns and global conflict!
As a culture we are losing our ability to identify what truly matters and what doesn’t. We struggle with understanding how key issues relate to one another. More and more, people are critical of others, but not critical thinkers for themselves. Through it all we lose the value of individuality and set ourselves up for mass deception.
I’ve also noticed some other interesting (and somewhat frustrating) trends over the past several months. Readership peaks when I post about finding personal security in the midst of a crazy world, or about the ideal of Christian unity. But when I speak of the concept of covenant and some of its powerful ramifications, interest drops significantly.
This tells me that we are grasping for an ideal which we don’t have a clue about how to achieve. Don’t we get it? One is a prerequisite for the other!
Do you want to find personal security in the midst of an ever unstable and chaotic world? It comes not from some wishful thinking about some far off God who maybe, hopefully might actually care. Personal security is a byproduct of understanding the nature of our covenant relationship with the Creator of our universe.
Do you want to find deep, rich fellowship with other people–relationships in which you are loved and accepted for who you are regardless of appearance, money or status? The substance of such connections is established in the foundation of covenant.
For a long time I mistakenly thought that an understanding of covenant was lost to the western church due to some quirk of history. I’m slowly beginning to understand that we want it to be lost. Real love is expensive! We long for the unconditional and sacrificial love of God to be shown toward us, but like bugs scurrying from an uncovered log, we flee from extending that same form of costly love to others.
As a culture we selfishly grab at the sweet fruit of Christianity while ignoring or rejecting its true substance. We’re left grasping for nebulous concepts of love and peace that we will never be able to achieve.
All that we truly desire is found in Christ, but our faith will remain shallow and hollow if we do not adjust our thoughts and actions to His paradigm. God will not yield, not even for a moment, to a human manner of thinking. For Him to do so would mean the destruction of all that is good. No, it falls upon us to search out the ways of God and to align our lives with His divine order.
How does all of this apply to the unity of the church? Unity is possible, but only on God’s terms. If we choose to ignore those terms, we will tremble with the fear of abandonment as this world continues to shake—all while He brings His faithful church to a peace-filled maturity in these last days.