July 30th, 2012 by Dale Fincher
Cramped and stale definitions are the function of neglect. Words are tossed into a closet where they slip deeper and deeper until the colors start to fade and the fabric starts to unravel.
When these words stay there, left alone and lost, we forget the significance and vibrancy they once carried and are intended to display.
And, as the dust collects, we start to hold misconceptions, sometimes about God, sometimes about our place in his creation, without being willing to open the closet door to see things in the light of day.
Yet if there’s one thing Jesus’ 3-year journey with his disciples shows us, it is that he likes to inject life into things that have been tossed aside. He speaks primarily in parables, not so as to confuse his listeners, but to help them really put on the truth — about the kingdom, about hospitality, about love — in the way it’s intended to be worn in our lives.
God makes himself available. And we’d do well to spend our time and our literacy in conversations with books and neighbors to pursue the best things about being human in all their fullness.
Last week we wiped the dust off the words sin and love, this week we do the same with faith and glory.
There are many sloppy definitions of faith used in our culture today. They use the same spellings and the same sounds. But they do not include the same meanings. Enter Jesus.
There are many different examples in the life of Jesus that I could list: sightless men, hurting women, fearful fisherman. But what is important in these examples is that Jesus knows “a leap” or “sincerity” won’t get the job done. The object of one’s FAITH is of the deepest importance.
It’s the person we look to that helps ease our concerns and shows us how meaningful faith is to human life.
When we trust a person, it is FAITH. When a person is trustworthy, we call him or her FAITHFUL. See how tightly connected these words are? Whenever you see the word FAITH in the Bible, you can usually replace it with “trust” or “confidence” to help you see the meaning of a passage. This is what the Jewish New Testament has done to help the modern reader.
A word like glory litters the pages of scripture but its seems about as old and outdated as our parents’ letterman jackets. A quick look a couple verses can help us see it in fresh and new ways.
And the beautiful thing about glory is we don’t just see and applaud its meaningfulness from a distance. We get to play a part in putting it on display.
Theologians debate what it means to be made in God’s image. A common view is that God has a mind, will and emotions. And we do too. His are divine and unlimited. Ours are human and limited. Our image is a mirror, reflecting what God is like: good, beautiful, loving, intelligent, creative.
Image Credit: ezeliving.files.wordpress.com