The Lord Remembers Us
You may notice that I’ve added a new book to the side bar – The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg. Expect to hear a lot from this book in the coming weeks. I’ve read one chapter, and I’m liking it a lot!
The first chapter is called “And We Shall Morph Indeed: The Hope of Transformation.” I want to consider some of the writing in this chapter in the light of one of this week’s lectionary readings – 1 Samuel 1:4-20 and with a reflection back to the Beatitudes (once again).
The lectionary reading is about Hannah, Samuel’s mother. She was, as the Old Testament phrases it, barren. She desperately wanted a child. Eli sees her praying in the temple, and after a few mis-starts, tells her to “Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.” What impressed me is that she DID go in peace. She was “sad no longer.” That, to me, is a testament to her faith.
And the “Lord remembered her.” She conceived and bore a son, Samuel.
And the Lord remembered her. Hold that thought.
Think now about transformation. An Ortberg quote, “I am called to be the person God had in mind when he originally designed me.” We are poiema – God’s work of art. And one more from Ortberg, as if God is speaking, “You are what you are – but that’s not all that you are. You are what you are, but you are not yet what you will be. I will be with you.”
And the Lord remembers us.
Transformation. We have an innate desire to be transformed. We search for it, although sometimes in the wrong places. God is supremely, ultimately concerned that we BE transformed, so much so that he is willing to make it happen. So much so that he sent his son to accomplish it. So much so that he will take action so that we are changed – formed into what he designed us to be in the first place. Changed into who we really are. Changed so that we “become ourselves.”
The Good News as Jesus preached it is that now it is possible for ordinary men and women to live in the presence and under the power of God. The good news as Jesus preached it is not about the minimal entrance requirements for getting into heaven when you die. It is about the glorious redemption of human life –your life. It’s morphing time.(p 25)And maybe, perhaps, that is the promise of the Beatitudes. Jesus is telling us of future hope – what the kingdom of God will be like in its completeness. More than that, though, he’s describing transformation. In our brokenness, in our barrenness, God breaks through. He will transform us into the creations he imagined us to be – that he designed us to be. It is all about a “glorious redemption of human life” today. Now. Jesus is saying, I think, “Fear not. There is hope in the future – I have seen it. But fear not, there is hope now!” Why?
Because the Lord remembers us.
Labels: Ortberg Disciplines