Friday, April 21, 2006

The Restoration behind the relief work...

Feeling a bit nostalgic and contemplative this evening...Why a church? Why relief work? Why do what we do? When faced with endless debris, needs, work orders and families it is tempting to think of the futility of even a large effort, though ours is small. When considering the scope of the need there are indeed others more skilled, more able and more prepared. So why is the church doing relief work? Very simple: behind the broken down walls and Katrina soaked sheetrock there are broken lives. Though the church may be inexperienced at construction we are experienced in destruction. We are a mess. We walked into the kingdom, more aptly we 'washed up' into the kingdom just like the debris of Katrina. There is a beachcombing God (NOTE: I preached a message in 2003 by this title "Beachcombing God" which is still available on the IPC Memphis website. This link will take you there: The series is on the Prodgial Sons of Luke 15- the 'beachcombing God' was the first in the series) who sits on the throne of heaven taking home the washed up, broken down and sin soaked to make them His own. There is nothing original about 'relief work' it is an idea borne in the mind of God pre-Genesis. The woodcut above was done by dear friend, Carl Fox- the Reformation phrase "Simul Iustus et Peccator" means "SIMULTANEOUSLY JUSTIFIED and SINFUL"- Larrouxified that means "washed up and loved!" How profound! Washed up and Loved- NOT washed up and cleaned up, NOT injured and rehabilitated, NOT broken but better- Washed up AND Loved AT THE SAME TIME- simultaneously! We are washed up people combing the beaches with God himself looking for other washed up people because there is a God who sits on the throne of the universe who does Relief work. Washed up AND loved, Jean. Isaiah 54:5

1 comment:

David McCracken said...

Jean--great to meet you. Thanks for offering devotions during our stay in BSL. Here's Amazon link to the John Piper book I mentioned, "The Dangerous Duty of Delight":

Also check out and listen to one of Ray Ortlund Jr.'s sermons from last year on Delight if you get a chance...

Ps. 37:4