Tuesday, March 18, 2008

While the Parade Passes By

"Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord." Exodus 14:13 (KJV)

We live in the world of Hullabaloo, with clamor and clutter packed to the rafters. There are bells and whistles, and sirens galore; trumpets and drums, clowns and monkeys, dogs and ponies, jugglers and acrobats -- all that, and more. There's even a cat in a hat.

Our news channels, both TV and radio, are packed with a host of talking heads; each filled with a variety of opinions which are rudely expressed -- sometimes simultaneously with at least three other people also trying to get their point across. In the end, no one has really said anything worth hearing at all.

And our over-the-top entertainment consists of non-stop flash and razz-a-ma-tazz; the music never ends; the laughter, hollow and crackling, runs incessantly on a looping sound track designed to make us think something is funny....when it isn't.

Even the dear Church is not exempt from the circus. Our services start promptly with polish and style, delivering the Word with sparkle and smile; ending in time to go to the game, which is backed up on TiVo -- oh, bless His name.

So it can be rather disconcerting when the Lord pulls you aside, and has you stand still while the parade passes by. What is He thinking? Doesn't He know how important it is that I step out there and make a big splash? Surely I should -- and I mean right now!

But the Lord says, "No."

It turns out that the kingdom of Hullabaloo is not the kingdom of God. Jesus did not come to be like Santa on a float in the Macy's Parade. Nor is He to be found in the endless marches of angry picketers, which fill our streets with protest each political season. Rather, His work is like a river, often running underground, which never ceases in its life-giving flow.

"Stand still," He says, "and see the salvation of the Lord." Could it be that we are not seeing all that much of God's salvation, because we are so busy running around here and there, trying to save ourselves?

It strikes me as something worth thinking about...while the parade passes by.

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