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Archive for February, 2014

I went to bed one evening, tired as usual, and drifted off to sleep almost immediately.

I awoke to find myself opening an invitation that I had just received in the mail.  The envelope was made of exquisite vellum paper and inside was a royal invitation made with that same rich paper and printed with pure golden lettering.  It was an invitation to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

I had never seen such an elegant and rich invitation, and my excitement was palpable.  It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

Many of my friends had also received an invitation, and they were all busy sending their white garments to be cleaned and pressed so that they were absolutely pure without spot or wrinkle.  Everyone was excited with anticipation to attend the greatest event that had ever happened since the beginning of time.

I was so excited that I had to go by the place where the banquet was to be held just to see the place where this wonderful event was going to take place and I noticed a small sign out front: “Help Wanted”.  “Oh”, I thought, “I would love to help in any way I could”, so I rushed to the door to offer my services.

Standing to meet me at the door was Jesus. Chattering at a mile a minute, I told him that I would like to apply for the job, how much I would love to help out, and how excited I was at the prospect of being able to be a part of the banquet!  I figured that, since I had spent so many years in the service of the Lord that surely He would assign me to something prestigious like the Maître d’, Chief Waiter, or something like that.  I could picture myself meeting all the guests at the Door that would come in, and sitting them in their respective seats while I clapped my hands for a waiter to come serve them.  This was going to be so cool!

I can still see Jesus quietly standing there, looking at me with those big, black eyes while I chattered away in excitement.  He just looked at me and said, “No, we need someone to scrub the pots.”

Scrub the pots?

“But Lord, I thought I would qualify for something much better than that.  Surely there is a job of some distinction that you would offer me, especially since I have been faithful for so long. Don’t you need someone to seat the guests or be in charge of taking the orders?”

“No,” He said. “What we need is someone to go down to the dish room and scrub those pots that are crusted over with all that old food and goop.  That’s the job that we need done.”

I looked into the hot, steamy dish room and saw deep stainless steel sinks piled up to overflowing with all sorts of dirty pots and pans.  The old food was caked on some of those pots as much as an inch thick. Others were covered with slimy goop and would have to be scraped and scrubbed and washed for a long time before they would ever come out shiny clean. This was going to be an ugly job.

Well okay, I thought, I’ll be the best pot scrubber in the world, and surely the Lord will notice how good I am, and of course, will then elevate me to the much more prestigious job that I deserve.

“No,” He said again, reading my innermost thoughts.  “You don’t get it.  That IS the job.  There are plenty of Prima Donnas who want to be Head Waiter and Maitre d’, but we need someone to go down to that hot, sweaty dish room, roll up their sleeves and get filthy dirty, chipping away at those denominational crusts, scrubbing out the old food and stale religious doctrines, and scraping out all the worldly goop that has been smeared all over the pots. It’s a nasty job, but somebody has to do it.

“You see”, He continued, “if we cook the banquet in dirty pots and pans, maybe no one would really notice, but this is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and those pots have to not only be clean – they have to be sparkling clean.  If the pots are not clean, we will not be able to cook the food, and if we cannot serve the dinner, there will be no Marriage Supper of the Lamb.”

“Will you go?”

I looked at that pile of pots and pans and realized that this was the job no one else wanted to do.  There would be no glory in this job, no accolades of thousands, no recognition of any kind, no pride in my job, position, title, or financial rewards — but somebody had to do this.  It was the job I had volunteered for.

I immediately thought of King David who wrote in Psalm 84 that he would rather be a doorkeeper in the House of the Lord than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.  I guess David got the job at the door.

Me? I’m just a Potscubber for the Lord.

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Hope

Oh God, where are you? Can you see me? Are you watching? Or are you busy paying attention to 7 billion other people who need you just as much, or actually much more, than I do?

Have you chosen to set yourself apart from us,  just far enough back so that we can almost touch you, but not so close that it would dissolve faith? Sometimes there are miracles; sometimes all the crying in the world cannot get you to move. Sometimes I can feel the Spirit so strong I feel like dancing; sometimes it feels like the heavens are brass and the door to your presence is slammed shut.  Sometimes you feel so close that I feel enveloped in you; sometimes you are so far away that I wonder if you are really there or not.

Belief in God has never been natural for me. The whole concept of God watching over us seemed so foreign to me that it was much easier to believe in the postulates of science than in the hopes of Heaven. Why would God do things this way? How come He doesn’t show Himself in the sky so we can all settle this debate once and for all?  He does, after all, want everybody to go to Heaven, right?  So where exactly is He?

And really, where is Heaven? Is it some far out place way out in the cosmos or buried in some other dimension?  How come it is way out there and we are down here?

We are immersed in the reality of this tangible world and it therefore captures our attention.  Sometimes it’s a lot easier to not believe than to believe, especially when you’re praying your guts out and it seems like God is deaf.   Heaven can only be hoped for, not seen.

But then there are those times when God reaches down and touches you.  Or heals some blind person. Or answers some prayer of yours that was just impossible.  Or reaches out and touches you in a place way down in your heart that even you didn’t know was there.

Sometimes He just acts like God, and it is unmistakably Him.  And then you know.

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