Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Tag: Jesus

What is the question?

by ryan

To be, or not to be–that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them. To die–to sleep

No more; and by a sleep we say to end

The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wish’d. To die–to sleep.

Perhaps one of the most famous soliloquies in British Literature is the one partially quoted above, spoken by Hamlet.  Perhaps the question that begins it is one of the most well-known questions in English literature.  It is a question that many in North America still ask. It is a question asked by a person who knows evil. To live, or end my life? All too often, the answer is “End my life.” But this post is not primarily about suicide.

I want to back up and ask an ancient question, perhaps a question that would have been part of a soliloquy if the protagonist was penned by a playwright, brought to life by a playwright. But this protagonist was formed from the earth and received the breath of life. This protagonist is you and me.

One protagonist is called Eve.  Her question, our question, is: To obey or not to obey?

The Book of Genesis, as it is often called by the English-speakers, is about creation but it is also about ordination. In the beginning, God created. The earth and everything in it is the King’s, God’s. But in the account we also see a profound ordination: mankind is made to obey God.

Jesus

Instead of obeying the King, we have rebelled. You don’t have to look far to see the disease, the destruction, the disdain and the death this rebellion has caused. The problem for us is that there has only been, and there is, and there will always be, only One King. God will not be dethroned.

The fruit of disobedience is death. So before you choose suicide or death by rebellion, please ask another question and think carefully about your answer.

To obey or not to obey?

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Time for Faithfulness

by ryan

There are a lot of things we don’t have time for, and that is part of what it means to be a creature, a non-god.

We people are little; we are weak and quick to become frail.  Life is short they say.  And they are right.  In all this shortness, there is a whole lot of busyness we try to cram in.  Why?

People are little who yearn for big.

We were created this way, and I will mention two ways  we can respond.  The first extreme is to try to become a god, to transcend our littleness on our own.  Perhaps we try doing more than is humanly possible, cramming our schedules, skipping out on sleep, or neglecting the Sabbath.  Or maybe we go so far as trying to earn people’s worship.

An alternative to this is embracing our creatureliness, along with its limitations, while at the same time reaching out for God in faithful worship.  What does that look like?

I think of Jesus as he taught his students to feed the multitudes.  If they had tried to provide food for thousands on their own, they would have failed miserably.  But because they were with Jesus and they obeyed him, everyone was fed.

There is a big peace and rest that comes from realizing we are just people, while at the same time realizing that God is God.  And God is here, now.

Now, we have time for faithfulness.

Table Rock

by ryan

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Jordan and I went up with my mom and watched the sunset over Boise.  There’s a big cross up there which is lit every night for the city to see.

Being on a rock like that brings much to mind: Mount Zion, the stone table in Clive Lewis’ Narnia, Jerusalem, and of course, Jesus.

Jesus wept as he approached Jerusalem.  The Gospel according to Luke reads,

Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation. (ESV Translation)

Jesus knows a lot about making peace and I am trying to learn from him.  How about you?  What do you like to make and who taught you how?