Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Day of Praise

Wed, 05/09/18, Easter Day #39, "Day of Praise"

Luke 9:62 - "Jesus said to him, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'"

Backwards is a fascinating phenomenon to me. 

A couple times through the years, I've seen this car show with our kids that's really fascinating and action-packed! Part of the fascination was watching this one driver do chases and spins and jumps driving backwards that most people can't do driving forwards. But then they reveal that the car is specially set up so that it looks like he's going backwards, but the driver is actually facing forwards. So in the end, backwards isn't such a great thing.

The same is true with some guys I played football with in college. They could run as fast backwards as most people can forwards. But they were still faster going forward than back.

Or take time travel. Many people think that's so cool. But nobody ever does it (even in the make-believe world) without messing something up.

In sum, backwards is never as good as forwards, which is what Jesus is talking about in today's Bible verse. Basically, we're all tempted to spend a lot of time looking backwards and wondering about this and worrying about that and regretting things we wish we'd done differently. When we do that, when we're preoccupied with the past and looking backwards, Jesus is saying that we're missing out on the kingdom of God.

The reason that looking backwards causes us to miss God's kingdom is because the God in Jesus, who says, "Follow me," is calling us forward. Forward is where God is leading us. Forward is where God shows us how he takes our past and uses our past regrets with all things together for good. Forward is where God casts a vision. Forward is where God works out our wonders and deals with our worries. But we'll never see all these works of God if we're always looking back.

So, as one cartoon character says, "Put your behind in the past!" And better yet, as God often says plainly, "Onward, ho!", because forward is where God, God's blessings, and God's kingdom are found!

Praise God!

Pastor Chris 
"The gospel is the story of Jesus [what God's only Son has done for us that we can't do for ourselves], spoken as a promise." - Robert Jenson

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