Sat looking out over our back garden, the rain today is lashing down, and has been all morning so far. Our garden is a mess, over grown, and it seems like it will be a thankless task to get it done and sorted. But we have Mission Possible on the horizon, next weekend various friends are coming over to lend a hand, eat some food, drink some beer, and more importantly help with the garden clear up. It is for me a God send as i cannot stand gardening, our friends will help out, and in return be fed and watered, it's a good deal for all concerned. It's a mission that will be accomplished.
This month our group of churches are running podcasts on the book of Acts, and some of us have recorded a 3 minute study on the subject, mine is on Acts 5 and deals with a harsh reality, that as people we do not want to deal with, but as Christians we run hiding from it, try and justify what it means, and how we can make it more palatable for a world that is looking for answers. Getting the balance right between showing God in all his power and glory, is an art that at time i sadly do not possess. Tending to lean one way or the other, it's not a crime, but it does do God a disservice of sorts.
We all want to look at the God of love in the Bible, we all like the gentle Jesus meek and mild, and the Jesus who wants us for a sunbeam (so wrong on so many levels). But what do we do when we are confronted with a God who actually is going to call us to account for our actions? We can run and hide, we can deny god as judge, which far to many Christians do. God is a God of balance, the universe, life, it's all a balancing act. If we accept Gods grace we automatically accept his judgement on the issue in hand, we are saying "okay God i want you to forgive me, because i know i have done wrong", then God in his grace forgives us, but to forgive us he passes judgement on the matter.
Acts 5 tells the story of Ananias and Sapphira husband and wife and very well to do. The church had just been born and people were flocking to join it's numbers. Then hubby and wife tell lies to the disciples, they hold back what they had no reason to lie about (money) and are struck down dead. It's harsh it's brutal and judgement is passed automatically ( read it, its only about 14 verses long). We try and worm our way out of this story by making all kinds of reasoning behind it, we try and take the onus from God for his actions, and try and sugar coat the pill. The fact is God is in the business of judgement as much as he is in the business of grace.
It is a balance, if we deny some of the actions God takes to make them sweeter, we detract and take away an element of his power. If we labour too long on death and destruction we take away his grace. Balance is key, balance is what makes it work. Our friends will help us do the garden this weekend, and it's also Pam's birthday, balance. The Garden gets done, our friends come over to help and to celebrate her birthday. Think on this Mission impossible, is actually mission possible if we get the balance right. In areas of our life wether we are Christians or not, balance work , rest and play are what is needed.