Brandy, Addy, and Grace,
“The juice goes out of Christianity when it becomes too based on Faith rather than living like Jesus or seeing the world as Jesus saw it.” – Steve Jobs
This is a powerful and true observation about Christianity, made by one of the most creative genius atheists who ever lived. Something that many don’t know is that Jobs had grown up attending a Church most Sundays, but what he saw wasn’t as much God and His Love for the world (that whole John 3:16-thing) as it was the rules and rituals that people follow as they participate in a religion – not walking in a relationship with Jesus through an active Faith that Loves this Fallen World. This frustration came to a head one day, in July of 1968, when Jobs saw a Life magazine cover with the picture of starving children in Biafra, and he got into a conversation with the Church pastor about God’s omniscience (His knowing everything that’s going on in the world). The pastor confirmed that God does know everything that’s going on, so Jobs pulled out the magazine and asked him about these starving children, to which the pastor replied, “Steve, I know you don’t understand, but yes, God knows about that.” And in that half-finished statement, an atheist was born. I say half-finished because the question that was asked was answered but not the heart of the question behind the question. You see, the real question was, “Why doesn’t God do something about this?” But, unfortunately, Jobs asked someone who didn’t know the answer to the real question at hand – a question that every Christian must answer within themselves – a question I had to answer for myself some time back.
My Girls, here’s the answer you need to understand, and I’ll frame it in one of the hardest experiences I’ve ever had – the Sandy Hook shootings. It was there that I and many like me served as a Chaplain in days after this tragedy that occurred in the next town over from our Church in Southbury, CT, and it was there that I was asked by a reporter a question to the effect of, “Where was God’s Love in all this?” To which I replied, “Do you really want to know where God’s Love is? Look around at all these people caring and comforting each other – there’s God’s Love, found in complete strangers who stopped what they were doing to come here today to see what they could do to help those in need, but let’s step back a little further. God’s Love is found in the parents of these children, as they cared for and raised them every day. They fed them, clothed them, brought them here to school to prepare them for their lives ahead. His Love is also found in the teachers who taught them every day, and when violence burst in, God’s Love instinctively forced them to put their own lives between the gunman and their children. God’s Love also came through the parents of that young man who did this horrible thing, but one or both of them were too self-consumed to allow His Love to create a home that would have prevented this. Now they didn’t do it knowing that it would end like this, or I’m sure they would have done things differently, but that speculation is pointless because it doesn’t change what we see before us today. I’m also convinced that God’s Love put it on the hearts of people around that young man to show His Love and bridge the Love gap that he was experiencing at home, but one or more of those people were just too busy to respond to God’s Calling… and in that we have what you see here today. You need to understand that God didn’t create the world you see before you. He didn’t create this tragedy – we did. God created a perfect world, and we were Called to tend to it with His Love, but we’re selfish, and we rebel against His Love, and in this – throughout the thousands of years since, we’ve made things ever-worse than they were the day before… But God didn’t intend it to be this way… And neither did we, but here it is because we were too selfish and busy to be God’s Love to those around us.”
My Girls, I Hope and Pray that you will have Faith – not for Faith’s sake, but so that you will Trust in God enough to lay down your natural, selfish desires and Walk like Jesus Walked, seeing people the way Jesus saw them, and serving them the way He Served those around Him. This is to say that if someone is starving, feed them. If they’re hurting, heal them… Go out and be the Hands, Feet, and Mouth of Jesus to those around you, and in doing so the Steve Jobs’s of this world will see The True God of The Bible, give Him Glory, and Be Saved, so that they too can go out and be God’s Love in this Fallen World.
Challenge Question: Who can you Love like Jesus Loves TODAY?