There is smoke coming out of my neighbour’s chimney (this time the house isn’t on fire). It’s another cold Melbourne day. I think I might head down to the lake this afternoon again. Had one of those horrible dreams last night. I am curious as to why they generally involve tidal waves – perhaps it’s just something I’ll have to live with. Rarely the same situation but always waves and water, lots of water.
I woke up to two letters from Centrelink. They were quite literally the first thing I saw. My bed is right next to my door and so when I wake up and lean down to get my glasses or book or Bible or whatever if there has been something poked under the door – I tend to see it. One was nice and pointless the other was saying my Youth Allowance had been cancelled – again. The track record just keeps on getting better. I did mention to the CL lady last time that I’d ceased employment, but I guess that didn’t quite make it into the system. I spent the first moments rehearsing excuses in my head, contemplating the dream which got relatively more horrible than just a wave and genearlly being frustrated at a ‘nothing day’. Decided I’d better change things before I got out and read random bits of Hebrews. Got out of bed more cheerful.
The point of giving this blow by blow account of my getting out of bed is two fold – I’m waiting for a cake to finish cooking (yes you read correctly) and I remembered something from Christina’s sermon that I particularly liked. This also ties in to something I guess I learnt – or had emphasised on camp (and you can go read Paul’s account of camp if you like).
Camp Mum and Dad impressed me quite a bit when it came to discipline – they were willing to follow through on what they said, came down hard when necessary and when it would quite obviously not bide well for their popularity and not only managed to deal with and focus on the problem at hand, but provide strategies for future conflicts (as just one example). What to do instead if you feel xyz.
In the Matthew 6 sermon, Christina pointed out the ‘replacement’ for the DO NOT PANIC.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6
It’s the alternative, the something to substitute, to fill the time or the gap that’s left. Erm, I guess like smokers often go the Nicabate patches – you can cut it cold turkey with cranberry, but it’s going to be more difficult.
The good for the bad. The better for the worse.
It’s a effective principle to to employ, I’m sort of pleased because I think I worked it out myself quite a while back. Haha. It’s dead obvious really, although often hard to live out.
I don’t think that God leaves us in the lurch at all when it comes to working out what alternatives are…
“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. ”- Leviticus 19:18
He shows us pretty clearly what the other option is. I don’t think they are of course all hypotheticals of the ‘replacement theory’. Working out what the ‘right way to live’ isn’t always the most black and white contrast.
How then to live?
The Samaritian woman at the well story, I like it immensely. From the Message version.
“But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” – John 4:23-24
We definitely opt for the instinctive reaction to life. It’s easier. We’ll complain about what we don’t have before thinking about what we do have.
Worship, life infact is not a passive thing. There’s the engaging, the pursing – if you’re picking at the verses above. Who we are, who we are created to be (which is living up to what God can see already behind what we concieve as our many many faults) has been smudged fairly drastically in the upbringing of ourselves in a thoroughly stuffed up world and the impact of sin.
Psalm 51:5 (NIV) wrote:
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Do I get a prize?
Seriously though the ‘official’ Christian theology states that as descendents of Adam and Eve (who sinned), we ‘inherit’ their sinfulness.
Romans 5:12-14 (NIV) wrote:
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned — for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.
When we accept Jesus, though, the bloodline that connects us to original sin (ie, that makes us sinful) is broken, and replaced with a direct bloodline to Jesus, who is NOT sinful. Our inherent sinfulness that we got from Adam is replaced by an inherent righteousness that we get from Jesus.
*sigh* But, we still live in a corrupted world and as such we are constantly faced with temptations. Even though we don’t have INHERENT sinfulness, we still SIN. Luckily, though, the fact that we’ve accepted Jesus also means that we receive God’s forgiveness and restoration.
I was pleasantly surprised when I recalled the post – went and found it and discovered the actual use of the word ‘replaced’.
Seems that there’s a bit of replacing going on.
The righteousness we get from Jesus? Righteous living? It ties back in nicely with the Matthew 6 verse. The Sunday School, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you…. Halelluhallelujah!”
I guess it comes down very much to this. I can use what I’ve dubbed the ‘replacement theory’ when it’s practical – but when it comes to really living, “Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” It’s about what God did and living like we know it.
And now I’ve got that stuck in your head – or at least that annoying song. I’ll go of wondering if my post was trying to get at two different things.