Bomb!

2 03 2008

Scary word, isn’t it?  It’s today’s equivalent to yelling “fire!” in a theatre.  Tonight the news included a story about a mall that was evacuated because someone heard someone say the word “bomb”, then others repeated it, then it became a major scare.  No bomb was found.

I really can’t fault the people in the mall…  in this day and age, there are few words as explosive, pardon the pun, as the b-word.

Don’t you wish these threatening devices could be just like Bugs Bunny bombs?  You know, the black cannon-ball with the hissing wick.  A device that could easily be disarmed merely by pinching the sparks. bomb

I must admit that I was quite frightened when I googled “bomb” trying to find the illustration that I used in this entry.  It’s not lie – there are countless sites out there anxious to help you build one.  Yikes.

As scary as all this is, this terror hits closer to home in less obvious ways.  Why, the very events of my life at times feel like something has exploded and left things in an incomprehensible mess.  There are also the emotional wounds that don’t heal easy.  How ’bout it…  been there? 

Considering that I’m a pastor, you might expect me to enter into a discussion about the peace of Christ.  Actually, it would be naive to say that Christianity is the only path for temporal peace and happiness.  It is, however, the only path for true, relevant transformation that leads to a deeper, inexorable peace and joy.  Even then, the road is not a smooth one.  I often wonder if prosperity preachers have ever met the apostle Paul.  His resume included feces infested prisons, near-death beatings, shipwreck, and countless other calamities.  Yet he knew a strange and settled peace among the fury.

Author Erwin McManus reminds us that the primary symbols of Christianity are symbols of death.  The cross is one of the cruelest torture devices ever invented.  Baptism represents a water tomb.  And communion celebrates the brutal reality of Christ’s sacrifice.  There’s a reason why we have these.  It’s to remind us that we’re not promised an easy way.  There are bombs in the road.  But there is also the promise of the one who accompanies us on the way – He’s sometimes called counselor, helper, and even a form of “lawyer”(!).  God’s Holy Spirit is our power and our peace.  Our sustainer and motivator.  And as Paul reminds us, those who’ve never opened their heart to God’s Spirit see it as ridiculous repartee.  To those who seek, there is a true unspeakable peace in a life that’s the bomb.

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