Our Best Moments Have Been Mostly Grotesque Parodies

There is little that we can point to in our lives as deserving anything but God’s wrath.  Our best moments have been mostly grotesque parodies.  Our best loves have been almost always blurred with selfishness and deceit.  But there is something to which we can point.  Not anything that we ever did or were, but something that was done for us by another. Not our own lives, but the life of one who died in our behalf and yes is still alive.  This is our only glory and our only hope.  And the sound that it makes is the sound of excitement and gladness and laughter that floats through the night air from a great banquet.

– Fredrick Buechner

as quoted by Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 243

The Eucharistic Table is not the Heavenly Wedding Banquet

Jesus told his disciples that he would not drink wine with them again until he returned in his kingdom of glory.  Our Eucharistic table is not the heavenly wedding banquet.  For now, it is the sacrificial meal in which Christ is the food and drink.  Yet each time we gather, we not only proclaim Christs death until he comes; we participate in the renewing powers of the age to come.  We taste the morsels of that wedding banquet when the meal of Christ’s sacrifice will become the feast of unending delight.  For on that day, Christ will be the host rather than the meal and we will eat and drink with him  in an everlasting exchange of gifts.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 241-242

A Feast in a Fast-Food World

Christ returned to his heavenly throne to pour out his gifts (especially the Spirit) and to prepare the wedding feast for us.  In the meantime, we are tasting that heavenly supper when we are gathered to hear and receive the gospel.  Christ is the gift who keeps on giving and as our churches become more centered on the message and the methods that he has ordained for his gift giving, we will doubtless find a table spread in the wilderness.  A feast in a fast food world.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 229

This Is Not a Subjective Experience

Each week, as I join my brothers and sisters in a public confession of sin and our particular sins to God in silence, Christ’s ambassador declares that I am forgiven in Christ’s name and on the authority of His Word.  Regardless of what I feel inside, God’s external Word assures me that I have peace with God in His Son.  This is not a subjective experience – a peaceful, easy feeling – but an objective announcement.  And precisely because of its objectivity – the fact that it is announced to me even when I am not overwhelmed by it emotionally – I get the experience of forgiveness thrown in as well.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page  224

We, All to Often, Settle for a Happy Meal

Instead of relying on the Spirit’s work of delivering Christ and his gifts to his church through the means of grace – worshiping “in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:23) – we demand more immediate experiences that we can choreograph and control.  In so doing, we are never terrified, never caught off guard, never put on trial.  We sit down to eat and drink and rise up to play, settling for a Happy Meal that we can order right now, rather than a feast that God has prepared for us on his terms.  But in this way we avoid the real presence of the actual God who not only judges but saves us through his sinless Mediator.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 223

It Was In The Desert, that the Israelites Realized Their Need for a Mediator

When God appeared and spoke from the top of Mount Sinai, delivering his commandments, the Israelites were filled with terror: “Now when the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, ‘You speak to us; and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die…. The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was” (Exodus 19:18-19, 21).  It was not something that they choreographed, manufactured, produced, or packaged.  God simply showed up on the scene and started speaking.  They were clearly not in control of the situation and they did not like the experience at all.  However, it id create in them an urgent need that they did not feel before, namely, the need for a mediator.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 221-222

Each Week, We Are Transformed

When God assembles us to receive his gifts each week, making us his own people, we are transformed.  There is a time to work and a time to rest; a time to give and a time to receive.  Only when we are saturated with God’s Word on God’s Day does every day become different.  Only then do we have something to give to those in need.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 218