GOOD NEWS BROADCAST
June 30, 2022
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE:
“And Yahweh has become king over all the land; in that day there is one Yahweh Elohim and His name will be the only One.” (Zechariah 14.8)
I just read a Facebook post by someone I went to high school with that said “If we could spread love and joy around the world as fast we can hate and hurt then what a difference we could make.” I couldn’t agree more except…
WHAT’S STOPPING US?
Why do we need to say “if”? Why can’t we be bold in makoing the powerful statement of “We can spread love and joy around the world faster than others can spread hate and hurt so that a difference will be made.” What a difference an attitude of boldness can make! Whether someone is for or against, saying it with boldness (not bravado) makes an impact. Jesus spoke boldly because He was powered by the Holy Spirit in His heart, mind, soul and body. His words were bold because His walk was bold. His walk was bold because His character was bold. His character was bold because His faith was bold. His faith was bold because His purpose was bold. His purpose was bold because His God is bold. Honestly, a coward could not create all that there is in such intricate detail and so infinitely interconnected. One who is fraught with fear could not splash colors in such array from such a variety of sources and then imbed secrets and wonders in them for us to discover. One who is committed to timidity and entitlement could not move so freely within and beyond the confines of human frailty and ignore the hurt, pain and suffering that is present and ignore the opportunity to make it better. Our God is a bold God. Our God is not brash and verbose. Our God is not arrogant or rude. Our God is not impatient and unkind. Our God is not boastful and proud. Our God is not self-seeking and dishonoring. Our God is not unforgiving and unjust. Our God is not evil and double-minded. Our God is a bold God whose character and nature as described above is directed by a bold presentation of authentic love. Our God is all of that at One and the Same time.
“Oneness” is the essential presentation of our bold God. You might consider the parable of “The Blind Men and the Elephant” as a means of understanding what I am reflecting upon. In that parable, six blind men of Indostan happen upon an elephant. By listening to them, one would think there were six elephants. Each described the part of the elephant they had contact with as if it was the whole elephant. It was but “one” elephant. The apostle Paul said that the Church was like a body with its many parts. Each part had its function and purpose but could not exist independently from the rest. They are many parts but one body. He would expand on this concept when teaching about the gift and person of the Holy Spirit. While there was God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit there was but ONE God. Equally, the gift and blessing of the Holy Spirit bore “character” fruit in each believer. When closely observed the “fruit of the Spirit” had multiple expressions: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. As believers, we are not parsed a piece of the “fruit of the Spirit” as when a mother slices an apple for a snack or separates the pieces of an orange. The “fruit of the Spirit” is one existence, one being, one reality but with many expressions and opportunities. The consistency of the revelation of our bold God should be apparent and powerful in our consideration of who we are in this world.
As I reflect on the passage from Zechariah presented today, it is with that same sense of meaning and purpose that we must broadcast into our world. Just as the Shema declares “Hear, o Israel, the Lord our God is One; it is He that you should love with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Consequently, it is He then they calls you to love your neighbor as yourself.” It boldly presents the consistent nature, character and purpose of the God who is over, around, in and through creation. It is boldly identifying the authoritative nature and expression of a loving and just God who is ruler and king over all. There is nothing and no one beyond His authority and His existence. “The day,” says Zechariah, “will come when Yahweh Elohim will be the King over all the land and His name will be ONE.” How interesting it will be that on “that day,” The Day of the Lord, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, every nation and tribe will look up and every mouth will profess that Jesus is the Christ, the ONE of God and in Him there shall be truth and justice without question.” So, all these myriad of religious expressions, philosophies, ideologies, political affiliations and personal opinions raised to a level of self-authority will find that the thread which wove them all together in the history of humanity was just ONE thread. All the names, misnomers, idyllic conceptions of that mysterious utopia or nirvana or whatever other name it could be called within the communities of the world will be seen over and against the ultimate truth in God’s revelation. It will be up to us to drop “the stuff” and embrace “the truth.” And, Jesus as the Christ of God, is the revelation and embodiment of that truth. He is the standard by which we can know the unity of body, mind and spirit as authentic in and for ourselves but only within the confines, context and community of the ONE.
My question at this point is similar to the one I considered when I read my friend’s Facebook post: Why don’t we say so “now”? Isn’t this the truth for us now as those who are in this world but not of it? Why do we have to wait for “that day” when we can live in it and say it today? Isn’t it better to be prepared for “that day” by affirming it with, in and through our lives each day that we are given? How much greater an impact when we speak, act and exist so boldly laying claim to what Jesus has already told us: As the Father and I are One, so you (plural) and I are One. And we are One because His Holy Spirit has been given to us, poured out over us and instilled within us. Confessing the truth about who we are in Him, professing the truth about who He is in us and engaging the truth with Him in the world in which we now live can only have short-term and long-term impact. We no longer should be asking, as the Church, “What if…?” We should be declaring, as the Church, “Why not now…?”
OUR CALL TO PRAYER:
Father, thank You for abiding in us but also calling us into accountability by Your Word of faith. May our eyes, ears, hearts, mind, spirit and soul be wide open to the leading of Your Spirit in these troubled time. We ask this through Jesus our Christ in whose name we live, serve and pray. AMEN.