A very appropriate thought for me this morning. From Dial Daily Bread:
Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Is it possible that our Enemy, Satan, could be pulling a fast one on us while we are asleep as Christians?
Just as Jeremiah's detractors begged him with the request, "Is there any word from the Lord?" so we would love to get some direct e-mail message from Christ, some fresh, up-to-the-minute "bulletin" from Heaven's media office.
Well, we have it in Luke 21--a message as appropriate now as any could be in this cosmic Day of Atonement: "Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting [on gourmet food], and drunkenness [literal or on video games], and cares of this life [making payments on the boat or SUV], and so that day [of last opportunity to save our souls] come upon you unawares" (vs. 34).
It is phenomenal how in a time of world terror never so pervasive, our temptations to indulge in a Vanity Fair life are so insistent. The more distressing the news of widespread human misery, the more alluring are the solicitations that appeal to our native-born covetousness. Not only big cities like New York and London have their giant temple-like retail stores, but the "big box" stores like Wal-Mart have come even to our small towns. The malls are our new cathedrals of architectural grandeur and heart-worship. Whether we have Republicans or Democrats to thank, we have money to spend and time to spend window-shopping.
We have metamorphosed into that "certain rich man" whose "ground brought forth plentifully" so that he had to build a "greater barn [to] bestow all .. his goods" (12:16-18). One of America's big businesses now is these huge storage places where all the "stuff" you can't crowd into your garage, you "bestow all [your] goods" there. And we say to ourselves, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry" (vs. 19). That's where we are, and that's who we are.
But wait a moment: we're living in the final period of Christ's ministry in the Most Holy part of the heavenly sanctuary; all heaven is concerned that a people, a corporate body of saints, be prepared for the close of probation; yet never in 6000 years of human history has "the ground of a certain rich man [you and I] brought forth [so] plentifully." Is there a certain clever master intelligence behind this phenomenon? Maybe you can find some missionary work to do in the grand architecture of the mall; but if not, that's no place to spend hours worshipping. Not since Christ began the last phase of His heavenly ministry.
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