sermon follow-up: a people possessed

… you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are God’s own possession. You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of darkness into his amazing light. (1 Peter 2.9 CEB)

We know what it means to be “owned,” don’t we? I tell myself that I own my yard, but it would likely be closer to the truth to say it owns me. How is that? Because I “serve” it. I water it. I edge it. I weed it. I mow it. I fertilize it. I mulch it. I rake it. I bag it. Etc., etc. Though I can do whatever I want with it, it actually bends me to its will more than I bend it to my own. That’s obvious from the time, effort, and expense I put toward it every week.

When the Spirit reminds us that we who believe “are God’s possession,” God’s Spirit is telling us that we mean something to God. He’s not going to neglect or abuse us. We matter to him, big time. And that thought shouldn’t make us strut, but stoop. For our being owned by God is not some special treat to God, but about our being completely submissive to him. We, his people, seek to be shaped by his desires and all the effort he expends on us is a call for us to give nothing less than our all to him. We’re owned by him. He can do what he wills with us and that’s not only perfectly fine by us, but we run that direction, shaping our growth toward him.

The daily question then is: are we living up to who God tells us we are, his possession? Or, are we simply content to do everything but belong to him, namely to grow wild, let ourselves become overrun with life’s weeds, or just plain lay down and die?

If God owns you, you’ll own him back. You’ll own up to him like a person possessed. You’ll plant yourself beside him, let him water you constantly with his life-giving word, and grow luxurious in the sunshine of his love. You’ll be his, and his alone, in every way. So much so, well, you simply can’t imagine, much less will settle for, any other way.

Amen.

imperfect world: creation in process

We ask how the Nature created by a good God comes to be in this [depraved] condition? By which question we may mean either how she comes to be imperfect – to leave “room for improvement” as the schoolmasters say in their reports – or else, how she comes to be positively depraved. If we ask the question in the first sense, the Christian answer (I think) is that God, from the first, created her such as to reach her perfection, by a process in time. He made an Earth at first “without form and void” and brought it by degrees to its perfection. In this, as elsewhere, we see the familiar pattern – descent from God to the formless Earth and reascent from the formless to the finished. In that sense a certain degree of “evolutionism” or “developmentalism” is inherent in Christianity.

from Miracles by C.S. Lewis (as recorded in A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings From His Classic Works, p.81)