Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Meetings. Sometimes they really seem rather dull and lackluster. In other words, they suck. Why? Usually because those in attendance feel almost coerced into being there. Matters little if its a departmental roundtable to discuss strengths and weaknesses, or a safety committee meeting to review last quarter’s injury reports, some people just don’t like attending meetings.
Me? Meetings don’t bother me much. I appreciate learning and don’t mind sitting in and hearing other opinions regarding how things are working, or perhaps, not working. However, there is one thing I’ve noticed in all meetings that I have attended. They all have an agenda, some sort of a plan or order. That is, there are a series of things that will be discussed.
Churches also have meetings and agendas. I should know. I used to serve on the church council and board of elders at a church I use to attend. It was interesting how some people would have their “pet issues” that they wanted consideration for, even if such was not part of the agenda for the meeting. Sadly, in the context of the church, many of these issues were things that had no place in the church, or if it did, it was not necessarily something for that particular part of the church to consider.
In Isaiah 55:8~9 we read “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Another way to look at this is to consider God’s agenda.
God has a plan for humanity. That is why Christ Jesus came to earth, was born of a virgin, died upon the cross, rose from the grave, and ascended into Heaven. Exactly what that plan is has been debated for centuries. The fact that God does say in Genesis 1:26 “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” only affirms that he made us. It does not, however, tell as to why he made us. Some have speculated that it has something to do with Satan’s fall from grace (some theologians speculate that Satan’s pride and fall from grace happened before God created the heavens and the earth). Truthfully, I don’t know.
I said that I don’t know. God created us. I know that much. I don’t really know why, nor am I going to speculate. However, I do know that God’s plan included what to do when we sinned and fell from grace. His plan started in Eden with the shedding of the blood of animals, and creating a covering (a garment in this case) for Adam and Eve. This foreshadowed when Christ Jesus would die upon the cross, his blood being shed for the complete forgiveness of our sins.
I suppose it is worth noting that God’s plan is not quite finished. Christ Jesus will eventually return again. When he does, it is for the final judgment of humanity. Those who have been called and repented, they shall have everlasting life. Those who have not repented, they shall have everlasting destruction. Sadly, anyone who has any understanding of God’s plan also knows full well what God calls sin, and that there will be those who will not repent, no matter what. Even worse, those who claim to have repented and yet continue in a particular sin, and choosing to be identified by that sin (note: there are many sins in which people choose to self identify, I am not going to single out any particular sin in this matter). To refuse to repent of any sin, that is to mock God and his word, and could possibly be the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit of which Christ Jesus in Matthew 12:31 (there is much debate on this, and unrepentant sin is just one of the issues debated here).
Yes, the final judgment is all we await. At the final judgment, God’s ultimate plan to restore the creation shall be accomplished, and sin shall be vanquished for all time. However, unlike some groups, who joyfully look forward to it, we should consider carefully our sinfulness, and pray in earnest that we might be found worthy to stand before our Lord and judge on that day. If we are not penitent now, we will not have an opportunity later. Sadly, there are many who, in looking forward to the final judgment, are taking delight in the eternal suffering of those who are unrepentant. To take such delight in another’s suffering is sinful of itself, and none should take delight in such.
Meetings revolve around plans and agendas. God has a plan and agenda for his creation. Business meetings address plans for dealing with temporary issues on a temporary basis in a temporary world. God’s plans and agenda are eternal. Best bet, when attending a meeting, is to consider both the temporary nature of the world around us, and God’s eternal plan, working to live according to God’s plan, even if it doesn’t agree with what this temporary world wants. Yes, it will cost you friends, family, and possibly your life. However, living according to God’s plan, as outlined in the Bible, isn’t going to cost you an eternity in Hell.
God’s plan or man’s plan? If God has called you, it should be simple enough.
Note: Yes, this does border on decision theology. However, if you find yourself struggling with this, then it is God’s doing, not your own. God uses his word to call you and enable you. You can’t do it yourself, that is called grace. Please see article 4 of the Augsburg Confession for more on this: Augsburg Confession Article 4: Of Justification