Friday, May 14, 2010
Who It's Really About
Barbara Mertz has a complaint about Egypt’s Pharaoh Ramses II. In her book Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs, archaeologist Mertz writes, “One gets so tired of Ramses; his face, his figure, and/or his name are plastered over half the wall surfaces still standing in Egypt—at least it seems that way.” Insatiably thirsty for glory, Ramses reveled in Egyptian religion, which taught that the pharaoh was divine.I could not help but reflect on the instance of so many in Christian circles about their...church...doctrine...music ministry...youth ministry...missions..."green" focus....
Contrast Ramses’ desire for glory with the attitude of Paul and Barnabas. On one of their missionary journeys, they faced a situation during which they refused to accept vainglory. When a crowd in the idolatrous city of Lystra saw them heal a crippled man, the people exclaimed, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” (Acts 14:11). They immediately prepared animals to sacrifice in honor of Paul and Barnabas. But the two quickly objected, saying, “We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God” (v.15).
Someone once told me that my blogs would have many more readers if I just engaged in some self-promotion. Churches do it endlessly - especially the "successful" ones. But it is made clear here that we are not interested in self promotion, but Christ promotion.
It is true that we are vessels of His Spirit, but somehow we almost always make it about the vessel and not the contents. Because we think biblically, we think of those vessels as made of clay, but somehow we need to learn to think of them as made of glass - transparent - we are jars. Transparency is the key.
So there may be a place for promotion, but only after we have learned how to be transparent. Maybe we should start with our prayers. - do you pray for success or transparency? Maybe if we start with the latter, things will get better.