Bells should be ringing. Lights should be going on all over the world. I wrote this a couple days ago, posted it in the Catch and watched it quietly disappear into cyberspace. The ease with which this statement slipped away tells me either everyone’s already living life as an open book or no one gets it, in which case we need to go over it again.
True ministry is living life as an open book. True ministry is giving everyone access to your heart. It has nothing to do with you; it has everything to do with God. We are, at best, containers – jars of clay, Paul calls us – and like any container, it’s not about the packaging, it’s what’s in it.
You and I as Christians are all about what’s in us. It’s not about us; it’s what’s in us. How many ways can I say it? As many as it takes to get it. Well then, I will keep figuring out the ways because I don’t get it, either. Just because I can say it, doesn’t mean I get it.
It’s a new way, and because of that, it’s hard to grasp. We grow up with the old way. The old way comes naturally. Hearing about the new way doesn’t mean you live by it. It just means you heard about it. Hearing and doing are two different things and sometimes the distance between them is measured in miles. Thousands of miles.
In the old way, God was in a box, in a chamber, in a room inside another room, inside a building, surrounded by a courtyard, surrounded by walls and gates. If you could get into that inner room where the box was (you wouldn’t have been able to because only one guy could back then, and you definitely wouldn’t have been that guy) you would have found that a very thick, very ornate curtain separated you from the room with the box with God in it. As I said, only one guy could go in there, and then, only once a year.
But when God’s son was crucified for the sins of the world, there was a big earthquake, and that curtain was torn in two signifying lots of things, but mostly that God was no longer in the box, and the room inside another room, inside a building, surrounded by a courtyard, surrounded by walls and gates no longer contained His glory. God was out of the box, and according to what His son said, even before He was crucified, He now has a new place to live on earth.
Where? In the church on the corner we incorrectly refer to as the house of God? No. His new place to live – and I can hardly say it because it seems so unfathomable – is in you and in me. Really? Are you serious? (That’s my son’s new favorite phrase and you have to say it with great inflection, raise your eyebrows and stretch it way out… “Seriously?”
You know, it used to be that if they ever had the box out of the room (which they had to do on occasion, whenever they moved) and you touched the box, even accidentally, you were toast. D.O.A. Didn’t matter if you were just trying to keep the box steady, something you would have though God would have appreciated, you were still toast. That’s part of why it’s so preposterous that this same powerfully dangerous God is now in us. Don’t ask.
So, therefore, people have a new way of meeting God. They meet you. Yeah, I know you’re screwed up and you have all kinds of stress and afflictions, and you’re confused about lots of things, but that doesn’t matter. People get into you, they get into God simply because that’s where He lives. And it’s not because you’re so impressive (and you’re not, remember, you’re just a container), it’s because you let them in.
So open your heart, because people want to – need to – meet God.