This was the first weekend of NFL football. It’s great! Well, almost great … The Jets won. The Panthers won. That much is great. The Giants almost won, but lost in the final minute by one point to Dallas. Had the Giants won, it would have been really great – but it’s still pretty good. NFL and college football are back!
As I began writing this blog (on a Sunday night before the Giants game had even kicked off) I was listening to my Sunday night radio show on the Internet: WFJA, 105.5 FM, Carolina beach music. The Drifters. The Tams. Barbara Lewis. Molly Askins. Jerry Butler. Gloria Hardiman. The Band of Oz. The Catalinas. The Embers. The Platters. Football and beach music. Life is good.
So, here are two thoughts. First, Life really is good. Certainly, there are numerous distractions from that – fears and foes and threats and terrors. Every time we read the morning paper or watch the evening news, we are reminded of the pains and problems that are part of the daily fare of living in this world. But, when we seriously consider life as it is, there is more good than bad, more hope than anguish, more reason for celebration than reason for despair. In seeking to answer one of the many questions that came in to Talk Back following worship yesterday, I mentioned the fact that throughout the centuries countless tyrants have threatened civilization as we know it. But, as time progressed, all those tyrants came and went … but The Church (the community of the followers of the Prince of Peace) continues strong and vibrant. Historically, kindness is greater than hostility, compassion is greater than violence, forgiveness is greater than vengeance, and love is greater than all the evil the world can create. “Fear not,” said Jesus, “for I have overcome the world.” He is stronger than prejudice, stronger than hatred, stronger than ISIS or Boco Haram or al Qaeda. “King of kings and Lord of lords” – Jesus is bigger and stronger than all the temporary tyrants the world briefly introduces. They leave. He remains. And in His presence we find forgiveness, grace, meaning, hope, peace, and fulfillment. As people of the Christian Faith who experience love and fellowship and forgiveness and joy and meaning, we discover that life really is good.
Second: If I find meaning for myself, I am also expected to offer it to others. You’ve heard me quote Bill Easum numerous times when he said: “Salvation always comes to us on its way to someone else.” Substitute whatever word you wish for “salvation”: “love,” “kindness,” “wholeness,” “joy,” “faith,” etc. Substitute the word “meaning,” if you wish. If I find something that makes life meaningful for me, chances are it will also make life meaningful for someone else. One of the reasons I find it is to share it. Put another way: It’s really not all about me – Instead, it’s all about us! God blesses me in order to become a blessing.
On my bus ride to church this morning, I was listening to a podcast by a nationally famous preacher. He referred to the fact that he is known from coast to coast and mentioned a colleague who asked: “Given your level of notoriety, how do you keep from becoming arrogant?” He answered: “I remain aware that none of this is actually a me-thing, instead it’s a God-thing. God’s Word provides insights, information, and inspiration. I am merely a conduit to pass along to others that which I have found.” I like that – “a conduit to pass along to others that which I have found.” If we can say that “life is good,” and if others need goodness in their
lives, too, then we are called to pass along to them that which we have found. It’s really that simple. We are blessed to become blessings.
So, here’s the challenge that comes to all of us as people of Faith: In Christ, life is good … Go, therefore, and make life good for others.