Thursday, January 14, 2016

God's Building Project

Remember when Kevin Costner was this young?

Remember the movie, Field of Dreams?  A baseball-loving, ex-hippie corn farmer in Iowa is struggling; he has regrets about his relationship to his deceased father, and he’s about to lose his farm.  Suddenly, he hears a voice from his corn field saying, “If you build it, he will come.”  Somehow, the farmer interprets this to mean that he needs to build a baseball field in the middle of all his corn.  It’s never quite clear until the end of the movie how doing this will heal his heart or save his farm, but he does it anyway.  Here’s an interesting side note: The real Iowa corn farmer on whose land the field was built kept the baseball field.  He never charged for admission, but he did operate a little souvenir stand on-site.  Until he sold the field in 2011, 65,000 people a year visited.  People often look at the world in all of its evil and injustice and violence and pain and say, “What is God doing?”  The answer is that He’s building something.  And that may not make a lot of sense to us, just like building a baseball field in the middle of a corn farm doesn’t make sense.  But this is the project of redemption, the story of humanity, and this Sunday we’re going to talk about what God is doing, and how He expects you to be a part of it. 

At the beginning of a New Year, people often make resolutions.  We feel like we have a chance for a fresh start; we want to be better in some way than we were before.  We want to make progress.  That’s what our series is about, how to make real progress in life.  For most of us, we want to make progress in our physical fitness or our financial status.  Those are good things, but not the most important ways for us to improve.  It’s like car maintenance.  If you wash and wax your car and change the oil when you should, that’s smart.  But that car will eventually wear out, anyway.  I hope some of us do get into shape this year, but these bodies won’t last forever, no matter what we do.  I hope some of us do get out of debt, or get a better job, or reach some other financial goal this year, but we can’t take any of that stuff with us when this life is over.  The kind of progress I am talking about is becoming the person God created you to be; that kind of progress doesn’t just make your life better temporarily; it can change the lives of everyone you know, and can produce rewards for you that last eternally.  We started two weeks ago by talking about how having hope--a focus on eternal things--will help us make progress.  Last week, we saw how God has invested so much into us, we shouldn’t settle for being like everyone else.  We should strive for more.  This Sunday, we’ll look at another way to make progress: We need to realize that we are part of the story of how God is redeeming the world.  

No comments: