Summary: learning the ways to live incarnationaly - from Hugh Halter's work, The Tangible Kingdom
Tangible Kingdom – Old Ways, New Ways
Illustration of iron and steel wool – set me on fire God!
For God to take us on a new path in this Tangible Kingdom, He needs to remake us. Next week, my son Ken will talk about a new heart that God proposes to give us. The last couple of weeks, we talked about church and the Kingdom in a different way that perhaps you ever considered before. It’s a new way to live. Life in grace, life filled with a delightful whimsical connection with our God. God is looking to remake your life even though you don’t realize it. For example:
May 25, 1979. Denis Waitley was having a bad day. Everything he did to try to make his flight out of O’Hare to LA seemed doomed to failure. Denis was literally running through the terminal to try to get inside the doors but he was seconds late. He pleaded with the agent to open the doors for him. After all, He was an important guy. He had to make that flight for a speaking engagement in LA. The agent was not impressed and Denis missed flight 191. He stormed out of the boarding area and waited for more than 20 minutes at a line to reschedule his flight. Just as he got to the ticket counter, an announcement over the intercom changed his life. The plane that he missed, Flight 191 from Chicago to LA had crashed on takeoff. There were no survivors. All 258 passengers plus 13 crew and two people on the ground lost their lives that day. For some unexplainable reason, Denis got a new life. He never returned his ticket for a refund; instead he put it on a wall in his office to remind himself of God’s grace.
Life can be jumpstarted just like that! Peter was minding his own business, which happened to be the fishing business. Luke tells the story like this:
Luke 5: 1-11 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, 2 he saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." 5 Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
Ever feel that way? Go away from me Lord, I am a sinful man.
Jesus saw Simon’s fear – fear of failure, fear of a meaningless life. Jesus went there and healed it. “Don’t be afraid. From now on, you will catch men.”
We don’t know about Peter’s childhood years. Probably his father was a fisherman and his father before that. He no doubt loved God, but his humble job never allowed his mind to entertain the idea of
Jesus doesn’t seem put off by whatever old ways you have walked. Paul was a drastic example; he was persecuting Christians to the death. God set him on a new path, making full use of Paul’s zeal but in a different direction.
Our earliest memories often define the direction we're going. Mortimer Adler said “Discover your earliest memory and then ‘so life is’.” My earliest memory is of moving to a new house on Summit Street standing behind the wheel of a truck. Maybe that's why I love to travel to go to new places. Some people have early memories that are painful. Life was scary, insecure, filled with pain.
George William Russell Irish poet “Germinal”
In ancient shadows and twilights where childhood had strayed, The world’s great sorrows were born and its heroes were made. In the lost boyhood of Judas, Christ was betrayed.