Summary: How do believers live between now and the Second Coming? What attitudes do we need to cultivate?
Made New - Living The New Life
Revelation 21: 1-8
CALVIN CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH
If you watched the CTV news on Thursday evening you probably saw a clip on this man - Eckhart Tolle. A dropout from Cambridge University, he found himself at the brink of collapse and suicide when, he claims, he suddenly experienced an inner transformation. Tolle dropped out of university and walked around London for two years as a vagrant, exploring his newfound consciousness. He wrote a book, The Power of Now, which has sold more than 100,000 copies. He now travels the world lecturing. Celebrities like Meg Ryan and Oprah Winfrey are heeding his message.
"All of life is a journey ... so why not enjoy the journey ... why not enjoy this moment. You will never have anything else," says Tolle.
There is something deeply right about what Tolle is saying. Very right.
Stop. Take time to look around. Take it in. Enjoy. For if you don’t, life quickly degenerates into a frenetic rat race. Do I even need to say it? We all know how quickly that happens. Daytimer in one hand, car keys or bus pass in the other and, zoom, out the door we go for another day packed with whatever. Back home for a few quick hours of sleep and out the door again tomorrow. Week in. Week out. Fulfilling, isn’t it??!
Compare that all too common reality to the one that is portrayed in the Bible in Psalm 148. We’ll read this passage and as we do, I’d like to ask you to not only follow along, but - as you do - consider the following:
How the writer of this poem is positioned?
Where is he?
To whom is he speaking?
What is he thinking?
Let’s read together:
So..... were you able to visualize how the writer of this poem is positioned?
Where he is?
To whom he is speaking?
What he is thinking?
Verses 1-6 is a call to all creatures in the heavens.
Verses 7-12 to all that live below the heavens.
Together with them, aware of them, joined with them, the writer looks to God as the Creator and Care-Giver of their lives.
Life in all the Cosmos. God made and guides it.
And they, all of them, experience it,
and together experience Him, their Creator..
It would be easy to miss, to roar right past it.
But sometimes you simply need to stop what you’re doing and look around to see what life is filled with — what’s up above you in the skies; what’s all around you on the land. And to appreciate the God who placed it all there.
To miss that is to miss an awful lot of the depth and riches and beauty that God has placed here for us. Life becomes a rather thin veneer. Grows old rather quickly. And drains us of vital life energy.
Your response may well be - "Something new, please. I know this."
Perhaps. I know it, too. But, if you’re at all like me, it may well be worth stopping to ask what we’re doing with what we supposedly know.
If you’ve been around Calvin for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve heard me say that when the Bible speaks of knowing it means two things:
and 2....... well....... do you remember "2"?
2............. taking what you understand and doing something with it.
Life in the Cosmos; life as a human being — far more than just me ‘n my work. Much, much more.
Look up.... and around.
See and appreciate it.
Interact with it.
Together with it give praise to our God and Maker!
Fact is that most of us do precious little of that, no matter how much we may claim to understand it.
Which is why a society hungry for this kind of deepening in life experience comes flocking to a college flunky who can put this message in a new bottle.
Only one thing.
While Tolle may be partly right, he’s missing something.
Tolle is missing something huge.
There is something deadly wrong with what he is teaching.
Listen again to his central statement -
"Why not enjoy the adventure, which is now?
Why not enjoy this moment? You will never have anything else."
Any bells going off? Warning lights flashing?
Let me suggest where they may be by going back to my days in driving school. Like many of you I was taught the "Smith System Of Defensive Driving." A simple but solid system with five basic points:
1. Get the Big Picture - See all around the vehicle.
2. Aim High In Steering - Look at least two city blocks ahead.