Good Things & Good People

Good Things & Good People


Psalm 15

A fine bone china cup – delicate, beautiful, gold leaf, translucent, created for elegant garden tea parties and finery – but used for potting seedlings in the garden shed, and us wondering why it’s all chipped and cracked: That would be just silly… We wouldn’t do that! Like blackening a new toothbrush by using it to clean engine parts. Certain particular things are made and are dedicated for certain particular uses, and we know if we use them outside of that, that would be abuse, and would risk damaging them, making them useless for what they were originally intended! That, in a sense, is what the word ‘holiness’ implies: some things are dedicated for a particular use. In the case of ‘holiness’ it’s a sacred or God-ordained use. To use anything for other than what is intended is to risk ultimately destroying it!

That’s a pretty obvious principle, applyoing to anything, and everything, and everyone!

It applies to us as a people who, scripture insists, are made in God’s image for the dedicated particular purpose of knowing and revealing God’s character! When we live into the reality of that, well, that’s what scripture calls obedience. Like following a plumb bob on a building site, it’s about us coming into alignment with what has always been intended for us. The result is a sense of purpose/shalom. When we aren’t living into that, we get very hurt! …like that teacup being used to dig holes, or the toothbrush to scrub sparkplugs!

Consider some of the worst of ourselves and our behavior as it happens with our political leaders/ in our communities/ our families/ even within ourselves: We are not made to be the vengeful, greedy, grudge-bearing, unforgiving beings that we so often are – that always damages us, eats away like some malicious malignancy! We were made for better things.

And, in Christ, we’ve been restored into living those better things! That’s the point of the Gospel! And when we are re-aligned with what is intended for us, that starts to feel like the KOG coming on earth as it is in heaven…

The Divine intention – woven deep into our soul-DNA – is for lives resonating within a 4-fold harmony! We are created to live in harmony with ourselves/ others/ creation/ Creator-God. As we allow anything or anyone to mess with any of that, that’s abuse!

  • OURSELVES ‘Find yourself’ is such a cliché… but SO essential… Until we do begin to have at least SOME sense of the wonder of what we actually are – under all the baggage life sticks us with – we are stuck with believing the lies imposed on us…Our lives lived in touch with ourselves results in lives lived in touch…
  • OTHERS There’s a Hebrew wisdom story of the students who ask their rabbi when exactly night becomes day! They were wanting to stick to the strict observance of festivals which needed to start at daybreak. Is it when there is enough light to distinguish a cow from a horse or a chicken from a dog? And his answer: Until all we see are brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandparents and grandchildren it will remain darkness.
  • CREATION To be aware of partnership in all things. And how it’s all given for us delightedly to steward but never to possess! We are created for lives lived in harmony with natural creation… I think of this Climate change disaster we are all living into…
  • CREATOR-GOD And with God NOT as apart from all those but – somehow – as a consequence…

I am increasingly lost in curious wonder at the restorative work Christ has done and still is constantly doing for us and all of creation: constantly bringing us back into alignment with what we are meant to be: Healing/ Reconciling… There are so many profound and complex implications and ramifications of this restorative work of Gospel reality! What I do know is that the result is the restoration of that sacred 4-fold harmony and the good consequences that we get to experience as we fall into an obedient alignment with that!

Is it OK for us to expect good things to happen as we live as God’s good people? DO GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE? I don’t think that there is anything to guarantee suffering-free lives for us in a world where Christ elsewhere promises we shall have trouble…[i] A world where, you know: …good marriages go bad, where children get sick, where natural disasters strike and millions of innocents suffer… where racists and misogynists and xenophobes and bigots continue to exist and continue to shout their fearful hate at everyone they believe are different from them… where greed and selfish ambition is applauded and anything else is seen as being somehow misguided and naïve… where poverty and injustice are overlooked and where draconian ideologies continue to break down and demean…

Despite all that, can we still believe in good winning, good things ultimately coming to good people as we are touched by God’s goodness in Christ? I wonder of there isn’t SUCH a more profound principle here? How about this:

…that we believe that, as we allow ourselves to reach out to embrace, to own again, take in again all of what has been effected by Christ for us, as we pray specifically asking and leaning ourselves into God’s intentions as secured for us in Christ, as we seek obedient alignment with God’s 4-fold harmony, so that is in fact what happens, and God’s good will is in fact done in us, for us, for others, through us!!!

But the warning is clear: as we choose NOT to be aligned in that way: As we choose to live, instead, into an intentionally disobedient malalignment, so it should be no surprise that ugly brokenness is what in fact happens…

But imagine how different it can all be…

Can you imagine what it would be like if that were properly our reality…

John Lennon sang it, Psalm 15 describes it, as do so many other texts,

…what living in a right relationship with God would looks like…

Do we actually believe it?

May it start with us.

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[i] John 16:33