Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Shepastor: “Living in a Dual Universe”
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. . . . Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
This week, the literary world celebrates the 200 birthday of British, Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens. The above famous quote expresses the reality of tension and struggle between two seemingly different worlds. One commentator highlights Dicken’s literary style or usage of anaphora, “the repetition of a phrase at the beginning of consecutive clauses—for example, “it was the age . . . it was the age” and “it was the epoch . . . it was the epoch. . . .” This technique, along with the passage’s steady rhythm, suggests that good and evil, wisdom and folly, and light and darkness stand equally matched in their struggle.”
As I read that explanation, it spoke to me of our experiences in life. For some, all is well, things couldn’t be better, life is good, struggles are minimal, and “hallelujah” comes easily because pain is a distant memory.
For others, all is not well, things couldn’t be worse, life is bad, struggles are at their height and “hallelujah” is a sacrifice. As the people of God in general and the preachers of the Word in particular, we must always be aware of this ever present tension amidst those with whom we interact. We must avoid flippant and shallow theology. We must prayerfully consider our words as we seek to advise, encourage and instruct.
We must remind the joyful to be sensitive to the sorrowful. We must encourage the broken and bruised to “choose to worship,” in the middle of the mess. We must remain balanced in our presentation of the Gospel, ever mindful that God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not ours – they are much higher, deeper and incomprehensible.
We must merely say like the song writer, “We cannot see the future, we cannot see through dark clouds, we cannot see through tear drops, so walk on by faith each day. On Monday, walk on, on Tuesday, walk on, let Jesus be your guide. He is able to carry your load and he can see way down the road, so walk on by faith each day.”
Continue to walk by faith and not by sight. Make up your mind in the good times to bless the Lord at all times and the choice to praise Him in the bad will be a clear decision.
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Until Next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,