Monday, July 5, 2010
Instead of a Show
Ahh . . . the day after the 4th of July. If you're anything like me, you enjoyed a day of sunshine, lake, friends, family, and food. Oh, and of course - fireworks. Who doesn't love a good fireworks show? One where the entire sky is lite up in bright hues of red, yellow, blue and white. One that sparkles with each explosion. One that makes you squeal with delight even though you're a young adult. A good fireworks show is a good deal.
Last night as I lay in the grass, thinking "Man, I like shows", I couldn't help but think of a song by Jon Foreman entitled "Instead of a Show". If you can, take five minutes to listen to the song before reading on:
In Amos 5:21-24, the LORD declares - "I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; and I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."
It's easy to put on a show, isn't it? Easy to put on a mask both before the Lord and before people. Easy to pretend that we are oh-so-holy. Easy to quickly condemn others. Easy to see that itty bitty speck in our brother's eye.
Jesus says in Luke 6:32-35 - "'If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men'".
My challenge to both you and I is to take a solid look at the things we are involved in. Are we in them so that men will applaud us? Do we crave the attention of mortals? Or are we serving the Lord alone? When we sing praises in church are we singing because it is expected of us? Are we letting our faith be lived out in the streets of our cities and towns? What are we doing for those who cannot stand for themselves?
May the Lord find us faithful in His work, busy making a people prepared for the Lord while we are here rather than a people obsessed with putting on a "good show".