Tuesday, May 13, 2008

what lasts is God Matthew 28:16-20

Jesus sends us out to make disciples in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When we do we connect new believers to the one who will remain after every thing else has slipped away.

Everything in this world can turn to dust. Psalm 103 says that we humans are made from dust and like a flower in the field we will just drift away. Things that we count on as hard and permanent drift away, little by little. My 1987 Chrysler LeBaron was well on its way to rusting away when I sold it with 215,000 miles on it. Instead of solid fenders it had swiss cheese fenders, you might know the kind. We could see right through the holes. When I took the confirmation kids from my first church in Minnesota on a service afternoon two of the moms slipped cell phones in their kid’s backpacks just to be on the safe side. They thought the wheels might just fall off at any time. I saw that old Chrysler running every so often a few years after I traded it in, I wonder if the wheels have fallen off, yet.

Scripture teaches us that everything fades away. Instead of staying stable even that old car that never quit running is just drifting away little by little. A little bit more washes away with every sand and salt covered road.

People who live in big central cities and out in the country have experienced this same kind of thing first hand. Something that used to be permanent is now simply disappearing in the rain and the wind. Old houses in forgotten city neighborhoods and old farm places that are falling into the ground have a lot to teach us about our impermanence. Moss replaces shingles, rock solid wall plaster walls just give way over time, and dust remains behind. A few generations ago people came home to what's now pile of rotting wood; it was the safe haven from winter, snow, rain, and winds and now its turning back into the dust and the earth.

Things that we think are permanent aren’t. Things that we can see, things that we count on everyday, turn to dust. And into this world comes something that you can’t even see that will not turn to dust: the Spirit of the living God. Jesus gave the Spirit to all who follow him. It is the Spirit who will help you see God. But you can’t see the Spirit. Just like you can’t see the wind. Billy Graham used to say that you see the effect of the wind just like you can see the effect that God has in our world. He said it’s a mystery. Even worse is that we don’t always see God’s activity either in this world.

Jesus said go and make disciples in the name of the 3 in 1 God who will never fade away. Go and share a promise that in him we have life after everything else has turned to dust.

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