eCare - Who is the Greatest?

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eCare - Who is the Greatest?

Dear Friends in Christ,

Full disclosure: I am not a boxing fan. I’m not necessarily opposed to boxing but I just don’t enjoy watching individuals punch each other in the head until one is rendered unconscious…but that’s me. What hascaught my attention, however, is both the emotion and the adulation generated by the recent death of Muhammad Ali. When Ali burst onto the scene he declared himself to be “the Greatest.” This past week TIME agreed on its cover with a photo of the boxer, his name, dates and moniker “The Greatest.” I’ve seen reports of his death in which there was a great outpouring of tears for what the world has lost with Ali’s death. My point is not to minimize the contributions he has made (whether or not I know them, understand them or agree with them) – my point is to note how highly the man is exalted…dare I say deified?!

Full disclosure: I am not a fan of rock/funk music. I’m not necessarily opposed to it I just don’t enjoy listening to it. I can’t detect melodies and I find many of the lyrics offensive. But, I’m not a music critic and my point is not to judge Prince’s music but to note the reaction to his recent death by a drug overdose. I’ve seen reports of his demise in which there was a great outpouring of tears for what the world has lost. People have become overwrought at his passing. Again, my point is not to minimize the contributions he has made (whether or not I know them, understand them or agree with them) – my point is to note how highly the man is exalted…dare I say deified?!

Full disclosure: I am not a zoo person. I’m not necessarily opposed to zoos; I just don’t enjoy walking around them as a form of entertainment. I’ve been to zoos twice in my life; once to the world-famous Bronx Zoo in NYC on a 3rd grade field trip and once to the Stoneham Zoo in Boston when my kids were very young. I’ve never been to the Pittsburgh Zoo and, if I am fortunate, I never will go…it’s just me. What has me thinking about zoos recently is the near tragedy associated with the boy who fell into the exhibit of the silver-back gorilla. Say/think what you will about the responsibility of the parents and of the zoo administration; say/think what you will about the legitimacy of zoos’ existence. What has captured my attention is the exaltation of the gorilla, almost at the expense of relief over the rescue of the child who was being dragged across the exhibition enclosure like a ragdoll. No doubt: the gorilla is a majestic animal and one of God’s glorious creations but, again, in so many cases the joy of the child’s rescue was overshadowed by a near-inconsolable outpouring of grief at the death of the gorilla!

Are these the musings of a growing-grumpier curmudgeon who needs to get over himself and embrace the life that exists beyond his books and his work and his own thoughts? Perhaps…some might even say “Exactly!” Fine; but there is a valid point to make that is worth pondering. The Apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said that at the heart of man’s rebellion against God’s rightful place as Lord and King there is a rejection of God’s majesty and glory and a transfer of that majesty and glory from the ‘Creator to the creature’ (Romans 1. 25).

Paul says “…for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles” (Romans 1. 21-23). Paul’s references may have originally referred to the worship of idols but in our own day I think the Bible is referring to our rejection of the worship of God and, in its place is our worship of living and breathing animals and people.

Put another way, modern man has eliminated the existence of God from his life and experience. He, therefore, has a significant deficit in the experience of true, divine majesty and glory that is found in God, alone. Since man is created in the image of God and, therefore, created to know and enjoy divine majesty, man’s sinful deficit must be filled in some way and the way it is filled is to attribute inappropriate majesty and glory to human beings and to animals.

Human beings are wonderful and glorious creations of the one, living and true God. Animals are wonderful and glorious creations of the one, living and true God. However, humans and animals cannot and must not ever substitute for the majesty and glory of the one living and true God. When there is an attempt to do so things just seem catawampus and out of whack…and they are.

As the weekend approaches please keep in mind the following:

1. Our Haiti Team 2016 will be conducting a fundraising car wash this Saturday 10 AM-2 PM here at the church. All funds received will go in their entirety to purchase food boxes distributed as part of the ministry of Pastor Jean Claude’s congregation.

2. This Sunday, before and after both services in the Lounge, you will have an opportunity to have your photo taken or retaken for the church directory. No appointments are necessary.

3. Registrations for VBS are still being taken through the church website. Volunteers are still requested and may register through the website as well.

‘Hope to see you on the Lord’s Day.

Faithfully in Him,
Rick