We live in a day and age in the Developed World where there is a pill that cures almost anything. It’s easy to forget that it wasn’t too long ago that antibiotics didn’t even exist.
So, when we read an ancient document, like Leviticus, it is easy to think God strange and that He is some kind of micromanager of life. The reality is that the best way to avoid many diseases, even today, is with behavior change. In fact, behavior change is a far more effective disease deterrent than is medicine. It’s why in the Third World getting people to drink clean water is far more effective at eliminating dysentery than is getting everyone anti-diarrheal medicine. And if we could get mothers to understand that letting their kids play in the feces of farm animals is what is leading to their infestation with parasites then there would be no need for medication or surgery in some cases.
I’m not completely sure if this is why Leviticus is filled with clean and unclean language, but today it occurred to me that as God was forming this new nation that rules for how to live life were the only way to guarantee the health and wellbeing of the community. There was no such thing as taking a daily shower or using powerful detergents to deal with blood and puss and mildew and mold. And if these things went unchecked an entire nation could have been killed by their inattention.
Israel’s survival and ability to thrive was rooted not only in God, but in behavior.
I awoke at 4:00 AM again for the second day in a row. On my drive to work I began to think about complexity of emotions I am experiencing: anticipation, anxiety, excitement, fear, doubt, trust, burden, freedom, unsatisfied yet satisfied. Sunday is going to be just another day for the majority of the people in the world, but not for me.
Launch Day is a lot like a wedding day, only it’s not. At 20, when I married Kristi, I was foolish enough to think I knew what I was getting myself into. I REALLY believed my expectations were realistic, and that all my fantasies would come true.
Actually, laugh all you want. I don’t remember a whole lot about my wedding day, or the days leading up to my wedding day, but I do remember one thing. I remember being fully confident that I had it all under control. Two days into the honeymoon cracks emerged, but I kept pretending and four years in I almost lost it.
I’m more than twice 20, and the years have taught me one thing well. I have very little idea of what I’m getting into. I have very little control of what the results will be. I am not very confident in my skills or expertise in navigating these waters. No matter how hard I work it ultimately isn’t really even up to me. I’m a failure more than I am a success. I am more weak than I am strong. I seem to want to flip a coin to make most decisions. Cracks have already emerged and the “wedding day” hasn’t even arrived. This is nothing like my wedding day, but I wish it would have been.
Because just like my marriage, just like my wedding day, Launch Day isn’t about me. So, it is with fear and trembling that I step into this weekend hopeful that my expectations are aligned with God’s and that regardless of how incompetent I feel I know He is more than able to receive the glory He is due because of and in spite of me.
Regeneration Church Launch Day
Sunday, November 24, 2013
10:10AM and 5:20PM
Couldn’t help but hear a wonderfully artistic representation of what we’ve been talking about lately. All of you priests listen up.