Emily Dickinson has an interesting poem about her unique relationship with God. Part or me thinks it would be better to live my life and faith a little closer to the natural world that He made — that church (and other institutions involving people) have become a distraction from true communion with our Maker. Sometimes, I almost start to confuse the ideal worlds I create in my head with reality — but they always get destroyed as soon as I turn away from the window.
However, as easy as it is to find problems in the church and humanity — and as much as I’d like to blame someone else for the slump in my Sunday fervor, I fear that all too often, I don’t take the time to keep the Sabbath at all. Inside. And it would be the same whether I spent my time at a man-made church or in an orchard cathedral. I’d like to say that the lack of consistency with spiritual content on my blog is no reflection on my life, but … but even though I’m in no position to teach anyone else, God did teach me something in church today.
The message was about Ezra — and the return to Jerusalem. I’m not sure if this was the intended point of the sermon, but the fact that that God was bringing His people back brought out His redemptive power in a way that I haven’t thought about in a long time. These were the people that had rejected God with their whole hearts — and (for a period of about 70 years) it appeared that God had finally given up on them as He said he would if they didn’t repent. But He brought them back! He built them a new temple, and restored them to the land — and trusted them against all hope and against all reason to do His will!
Of course, it would have been so much better if they had never fallen away. The exiles would never again be the mighty nation they once were — and they knew it. But there’s no use fretting over what might have been. If we’re given another chance to do something for God (even if it’s not what we once could have done), that’s an infinite opportunity for gratefulness. And, it’s a chance to do what you can for Someone who still believes in you — even when He shouldn’t!