Monday, August 29, 2011

Purity and Fallenness

Let me begin with a big sentence: Purity, in and of itself, has never been all that exciting to me. I took a gemology class in college once, and I remember seeing pictures of completely flawless diamonds. Completely perfect diamonds were completely boring to me. I know of people who spend lots of money on perfectly pure water (Britta, Tynant, the most expensive...Fiji), but that has left me equally unexcited. I can't tell the difference between tap water and Brita (there is a difference with Fijian water:-). And I don't inherently value perfect days, perfect, vacations, perfect cars (whatever), but all of them leave me feeling purely and perfectly unfulfilled. What excites me most is the segway, the convergence, the connection between that which is perfect and that which is fallen...

I remember a story once that Jesus told, of a perfect meal that was prepared. Not only was this a perfect meal, but it was a perfect party. It was "pure" party - it was so perfect. I imagine the meal that Jesus spoke of had the perfect ingredients, and the most incredible table decorations, and the most consummate wines. I imagine that the meal that Jesus told about had perfect dinner guests and perfect music. However, there was one hitch to this perfect meal. None of the "perfect" people actually wanted to attend. Don't get me wrong, all people were invited, but none of the "perfect people" wanted to come. This apparent incongruity between the perfection of the meal that Jesus wanted to serve and the imperfection of the "rudeness" of the guests that Jesus wanted to invite was deeply unsettling to God.

But then, God did an incredible thing. God invited all of the imperfect people to come to the dinner. God invited all of the non-Brita people, all of the un-Hope diamonds to come. He said, "Go out into the streets and invite everyone who is unfit to come to this meal." The exact Biblical story goes something like this;

2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding party for his son. 3 He sent his servants to call those invited to the wedding party. But they didn’t want to come. 4 Again he sent other servants and said to them, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Look, the meal is all prepared. I’ve butchered the oxen and the fattened cattle. Now everything’s ready. Come to the wedding party!” ’ 5 But they paid no attention and went away—some to their fields, others to their businesses. 6 The rest of them grabbed his servants, abused them, and killed them.

7 “The king was angry. He sent his soldiers to destroy those murderers and set their city on fire. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding party is prepared, but those who were invited weren’t worthy. 9 Therefore, go to the roads on the edge of town and invite everyone you find to the wedding party.’

So, the meal was perfect, but the guests ended up not being so perfect. But that is what is so beautiful about the story. It was the consequence of purity and fallenness, height and lowness, loftiness and degradation, that was so beautiful.

So, that's what I'm going for in my life and my ministry. I'm going for the consequence of purity and fallenness, astronomical heights connecting with indefatigable lows. What is most beautiful about Jesus Christ, our God, is that HE, a perfect being came into our broken and utterly fallen world. It was the convergence of purity and fallenness...

All For Now,

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