It’s late … or early. It all depends on your perspective I suppose. For me, it’s very late. I’ve normally been asleep for about 2 and a half hours by now. Not tonight. Stuffy nose. Scratchy throat. Pesky cough. Some little bug found its way into my body and is now having a party making more and more bug buddies. Like upstairs neighbors hootin’ and hollerin’ with the resounding thump of hip-hoppery, this little virus that moved into my sinuses sometime around Wednesday and is keeping me from sleep.
I ain’t no high-falutin’ scientist or biology guy, but from what I understand, some germ is now waging war with my imune system. It’s something about cell division and white blood cells and … blah, blah, blah. I’m simple. I understand it like Alien. My body, the ship, has been invaded by outsiders who want to take it down. So, the crew is running around like crazy, screaming and yelling and firing their lazers at the pests. No wonder my head aches … it’s all that yelling and it’s the lazers bouncing off the walls of my sinuses. When the good guys hit the bad guys the bad guys go down in explosions and bursts of flame. Yeah, that’s exactly what’s going on. Darn pollutants.
Pollutants ruin things. It seems like a simple concept to grasp. You aren’t going to pull up to a bar and say, “Pollutants. Shaken, not stirred.” And I bet that you wouldn’t reach into the cooler at the grocery store avoiding pure spring water for the gray tinted water advertising, “Now with 20% more pollutants.”
Okay, here’s the pitch, the skinny, the lowdown, the point …
There was this guy named James who lived about 2000 years ago. His brother was a big deal. He hung out with him a lot; they were very close. James was into the same stuff his brother was. In fact his brother gave him purpose and changed his life. His brother was Jesus.
If you don’t really know much of Jesus outside of the freak show you’ve seen while flipping through cable stations, you will probably be surprised by reading about his life in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I like His style. He had a lot to say about organized religion and what God is really like.
Jesus brought an entirely new paradigm onto the scene. He pointed out God’s love, His heart and His motivation. He welcomed the poor in spirit and loved people that society didn’t love. He changed their lives and invited them to trust His father who really was for them.
Society thought one way and Jesus offered another. It was entirely different from what the guys in the fancy robes where demanding allegiance to. It was a different mindset – one that said, “Hey, God is for you regardless of who you are or what you’ve done.”
There have always been a lot of things that have polluted that message and complicated it. Some pollutants have obscured it totally and kept people from seeing God’s heart. James recognized that tons of things get in the way so he summed up the message of his brother again:
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
The germs, the pollutants, I have partying in my body right now are robbing my energy and keeping me from health. The pollutants James talks about party it up and keep us from recognizing God and his heart. They drag us down and take us out. They make us lose sight of the fact that God is for us.
God is for you.