Purple Perfection?

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Welcome to the perfect world inside my head.

In my imaginary world, there are no terrorists, because everybody just loves each other.

In my perfect imaginary world, people make covenants and keep them.  People are quick to forgive, but since everyone loves so completely, there’s rarely anything worth forgiving.

In my  perfect world, everyone wants the same things: Peace, Love, and Hope.  And everyone knows that serving God is the best way to get them.

Ahhhh.  It’s a great place.  I like to visit there, especially when things in this world get so messed up.

But here’s the problem.

I went to visit my perfect world this morning, and there’s a new sheriff in town:

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BARNEY??? No!!!!!

What is Barney doing in my perfect world?

I started to object, but there is no objecting in my perfect world.  As it turns out, Barney with his safe, milquetoast song, is the best personification of my particular brand of perfection.

Not Jesus. Barney.

Want to sing with me?

As much as I can’t stand that song, I think I’m beginning to understand something.  Barney’s over-simplistic love fest style may be fine with little kids, but it is NOT the kind of perfect world I keep thinking I want.

When things get tough in this world, when I long for something better, I’m making a mistake to retreat from the here and now.  The mistake is thinking that Jesus would ever put on a Barney suit.

Heck no.

Sure, Jesus speaks of great, amazing love and forgiveness, but he’s not about to go all softie on us.

Did you ever notice?  Jesus is a fighter.

No, not in the sense of fists or guns or swords, but Jesus was willing to fight for us.  He fought worn-out traditions, and popular misconceptions.  He fought with his own disciples when they were foolish or arrogant.  He fought the powers of this world with the reality of the REAL Kingdom of God that is breaking into this world all the time.

Not a group-hug kind of Kingdom, but a Kingdom where the poor and disposessed are raised up with justice.  A kingdom where sinful and misguided mindsets are shown the light of day through the power of the spirit.

Jesus never tried to escape this whirled world for something more peaceful and simple.  No, the goal of Jesus’ life was not to reach perfection, but to reach the least and the lost.

I need to remember this, the next time the world seems shattered.

Instead of retreating to a “perfect” world where I can sing and dance with Jesus, I must remember that Jesus walks every hard road of this world with a purpose.  And he encourages us to do the same.

Truth is:  A little Barney goes a long way,

But Jesus goes much farther.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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RUSSEL BRAND AND KATY PERRY ARE GETTING DIVORCED!

Checking out,

I notice the headlines on the supermarket tabloids, and I wonder at the useless information I carry inside my head.

I know how many days Kim Kardashian was married, even though I couldn’t pick her out of a lineup.

I can name 3 of Madonna’s exes without looking:  Guy Ritchie, Sean Penn, and Warren Beatty. Oh, and Dennis Rodman. There’s four. WHY DO I KNOW THIS?

I check online and discover that Russel Brand and Katy Perry are getting divorced.  Another couple? It’s almost like an epidemic. We see it so often we can become desensitized to it. But that would be a mistake.

I have to believe that there aren’t many people in this world — including celebrities, who take something like divorce lightly. Often there are children involved. Real emotions. Pain. Divorce is not something to be taken trivially.

Divorce is the dissolution of a covenant, and God is big on covenants. God has made the same covenant with us, time and time again throughout history. God will be our God, and we will be God’s people. And in all that time, even when we failed to uphold our part of the bargain, God has stayed with us. Through thick and thin.

Apparently, that’s something Russel and Katy weren’t able or willing to do for each other.

I actually feel for them, and all celebrities, who have their dirty laundry aired for all to see. I suppose some thrive on the publicity, but brokenness is brokenness, no matter who is involved. A failed marriage covenant is not water cooler material. It’s a reason for real sadness.

But it’s not the end of love.

You know people who are divorcing, or have long since been divorced. Maybe you’re one of those people. I believe that even when a couple cannot continue in marriage, God is working to move all those involved towards wholeness. Russel, Katy, Guy, Madonna, even Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, they all have the benefit of God’s unending love to move them in healthier directions.

Of course, that’s not the story the tabloids are telling. They speak of prenups, and affairs, and scandal, and hurt. For some reason, that’s the stuff so many of us want to read about.

But next time you’re 5th in line at the store, and you read about the latest celebrity break up, remember this:

God keeps Checking In,

Even when we find ourselves in the sad position of

Checking Out.

Have a Great Week,

Mitch