Saturday, February 9, 2008

Lent '08 - Day 4: Fuel for Praise

For Christmas, we commited to have Kara's incredibly delightful cousins, Kameron and Kelsi, over for a fun-filled day and night.  The afternoon was spent at the Pacific Science Center.  This was my first time there; I absolutely loved it.  Although it is geared for kids, I could happily spend a day there by myself, so I could really soak in everything.  I like to see everything, read everything, and observe everything, but that isn't conducive behavior when you have kids or a wife who has already been there a couple of times :)

There were so many things that awed me:
  • Seeing how small Earth is relative to Jupiter or the Sun.  They had a great vishal, showing the many hundreds of earths that fit in Jupiter, and in turn the many Jupiter's that fit in the sun.  And that's all within our tiny solar system!
  • T-Rex jaws that would absolutely crush me.
  • An immense collection of insects, revealing the seemless life that chugs away unnoticed by me.
  • DNA printouts.  It's absolutely astounding how much paper it takes to print DNA when each protein is represented by a single letter.  I saw one volume of many, and it was literally hundreds of pages of straight captial letters.  Each cell contains all that information.  Wow!
I'm sure I would bore you if I went into everything I saw that stood out.  When I see all this science, awe overtakes me.  Life is so much bigger than me.  The size and detail of it all gives me so much to marvel at God with.  It is fuel for praise.

What causes you to be speechless before God?  Is it being outdoors?  Is it reflecting on your life?  There is only one occassion listed in the Gospels that I can think of where Jesus gives praise to God as we commonly think of it:

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure." (Luke 10:21)

This utterance from Jesus comes as his unpolished group of 72 followers come back and report about how their announcing and revealing of the Kingdom went among the neighboring towns and villages.  Jesus gets pumped by seeing the heirarchy of the Kingdom at work.  Ordinary and unleared peopled are experiencing the Kingdom and are being used by God to unfold it in the world.  These are the people without college degrees, positions of power, or significant financial means.  Jesus is praising God's work among the underdog.  Jesus is marveling at the way God balances the scales.  There is something inherently beautiful to Jesus about the unqualified receiving the keys to the Kingdom.  

I wonder how many of us share Jesus' sentiment?  As someone who is "wise and learned" by the world's standard, do I celebrate the revelations made to the "children" around me?  Will I accept that just maybe they have been shown more than I have been?  Will I continue with my upward mobility, or will I take a posture of humility, and let them minister to me and those close to me?  You see, Jesus sent out the 72 "to every town and place he was about to go" (Luke 10:1).  They were fulfilling a John the Baptist type role of preparing the way for the Master.  I don't know why God needs a human to prepare the way for him; I think it's just how chooses to work.  Maybe the same thing happens today.  Maybe I need the "children" to prepare the way of the Lord in my own life.  And maybe if I do, I, like Jesus, will "be full of joy through the Holy Spirit" and say "I praise you, Father..." 

1 comment:

ryan said...

Lep! Stoked you're doing this. Great thoughts on the juxtaposition of our views and the ways of Christ...the flipping paradoxes of the weak leading the strong, our strength coming from brokenness, and all of the the other truths that seem like anti-truths to our culture. Thank you!