To become a Christian is to see with greater and greater clarity… “In the Beginning” the scripture begins. And the great drama of creation unfolds in just a few lines. “In the beginning” hearkens back to Genesis 1:1: “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” You are right to be reminded of the beginning of time. The beginning of creation. There is freshness, newness – and as the revelation of creation unfolds, the possibility of a personal relationship with God is revealed. We are right to see ourselves as part of God’s purpose.
The Need for Optimism…
There is a great need for optimism. Children are naturally optimistic. Little Paisley running around at SOH on Thursday, doesn’t know a stranger, I picked her up and let her look at people and smile and people were more pleased than if I’d handed them a chocolate bar. Children are naturally optimistic. Carefree days, no worries. One of my first jobs was picking blueberries for Jan Jorgenson Hatch… I don’t even remember picking blueberries… I do remember lunchtime and the watering hole and the rope swing tied to the tree… children are naturally optimistic…. This scripture is dripping with optimism, optimism of John the Baptist like the natural optimism of children…
To Be a Child Again, Wouldn’t it be nice to get away from adult worries. Today, the innocence of a child. When I first graduated from school, I was asked to consider serving as a Pastor in a new church plant in Bloomington, IL. If I remember correctly, Bloomington is butted up next to another city named Normal, so the unofficial town motto: “Bloomington is next to Normal.” A conference of churches was trying to assemble a team of people to plant a church and asked me to check it out. I stayed in the home of a young couple with 3 children. The economy had faltered, so that by the time the couple moved to Bloomington, the auto plant and other business had failed, so this young couple was having a hard time making it financially. They lived in an old worn out single wide mobile home with holes in the floor. The husband found two low wage part-time jobs, including delivering pizza. The oldest boy was no more than four or five. One evening I was talking to the boy, he was the happiest child, oblivious to the living situation. As far as he knew, he was living in a palace. The boy was telling me his dreams, and he made this statement I will never forget: “When I grow up, I want to deliver pizza.”
Children are commended by Jesus as examples for us in Matt. 19:14 (NLT). Or close to the same thought, yesterday after the Clothesline closed Connie, Linda and I were brainstorming, and Connie pulled out a children’s shirt that made her laugh: “You Big People Just Don’t Get It.” ….ain’t that the truth…I know that the T-shirt is referring to life in general, but it makes most sense when the “it” is faith. When you look at children as the example, faith isn’t that complex…