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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Witnesses

The children of God gathered in a musty, decaying hall but the lights were too low to see. Shadow hid what was undesirable and flashes of color sparkled in whirling, unceasing motion that made focus impossible. Conversation and communion were given up as the thumping music drowned out all but the shouted exchange. Alcohol dulled pain, lowered inhibitions and substituted for brotherhood. The creatures designed for glory chose to hide in darkness and noise and drunken revelry. The bride of Christ gave up her husband for a grope and bad dancing.

It’s their right to choose. A right they’ve been given. It just made the witness sad. So he wandered out into the night where the moon seemed bright in comparison and bird and frog spoke in more reverent tones. Away, away from the revelers, away from the noise, from the shouting, from the over-stimulation, from the false camaraderie, away from the bad dancing, he found a refuge beneath a great and ancient oak. Leaning back he gazed up at its proud height and strong, still branches and in its quiet way, it seemed to him that the tree was a wise old witness too. Here was a living thing that though without thought or self-awareness, fully knew its Creator, what He expected of it and its place in creation. That a tree could, in the very act of being what it was meant to be, shame those of us in rebellion.

Two thousand years ago, witnesses threw their clothing and branches before their King, their Creator, their Husband and shouted and sang his praises while they danced for joy in broad daylight even though they didn’t understand his Kingdom and that, in just a few days, he would soon hang on a tree for them. The grumps of their day told Jesus to make them stop their unseemly display. He told the grumps that if the revelers stopped, then the very stones would cry out. Creation was so intoxicated with the Holy Spirit that even stone witnesses would cry out. I wonder how often creation looks at us and just wants to cry?

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