Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tennis, Gunshots, and Fireworks

The past three nights members of our team have gone out to a nearby park to play tennis under the lights. It has revealed several things.

1. I'm not quite ready to take on Roger Federer.
2. Humidity will suffice to make it plenty hot even when the sun is down.
3. Our neighborhood needs prayer.

Last night, in particular, was marked by a morbid, unpleasant game. When you hear a loud noise you ask yourself, "Was that gunshots or fireworks?" Thankfully last night, I think all of the pops were fireworks, but I'm not entirely sure.

Adding another level, even at 11 PM there were still plenty of elementary aged kids playing in the park totally unfazed by the noises, either because they're accustomed to it or have been playing the "Is that fireworks?" game for years.

Which is a game no 10 year old should be skilled at.

Nor should a 10 year old know the rules of creating a cycle of violence, where you don't call the police, because you equally believe they don't care and want to seek "justice" on your own.

But more than anything, this clarifies to me that this is where I want to be. Where there's gunshots and injustice and chaos, Christ followers should move in. The Church needs to be in those places.

My hope is not in this world, but in a God who has promised to return to make all things right and in light of this promise, Christ followers are free to ditch the demands of culture and lifestyle as we live for a different world.

And better yet, we don't therefore, give up on the pain and injustice and hopelessness around us, but we move towards it, we take it on, because the Church is called to be a preview of that which is to come!


In the line of this thinking, check out this song by a really talented guy named Trip Lee who just released his new album this week (lyrics below).

Verse 1:
Creation's groaning, lost their hope and feel they always closed in Lots to cope with, on the ropes, wish they was in the open This broken world is so dim, our souls are searching, groping For one with hope to hold us close, and set goodness in motion I remember growing up in Dallas, I thought me and my close kin Was more than straight, our folks was great ,not broke that paper flowed in Not boasting man, just saying in my brain I didn't know then That all went wrong, and it just can't go right like a broke pen My mind was blind and cloaked in, but then that foolishness departed I saw this thing's an ocean, and we just tryna swim real far but But can't nobody float when we ain't got boats or no fins We need a hero to go in, cause our solutions don't win Education can't fix it, more dough just leads to more sin Medicine is temporary, government seems so thin With all these weighty problems, that ain't shrinking they just growing Who's adequate to save us, how about He knew no sin?

Like a G5 yeah you rushed to rescue me Took a cross in exchange for a throne to save me You began the work and I know you'll finish And make all things right when you come back Cause you're my hero, you already saved the day Cause you're my hero, and I know you're coming back for me

Verse 2:
Follow the steps bro, Adam sinned now we all dead so We gotta sentence on our head like death row, everything is wrecked All creation is a mess bro, In the fullness of time, in steps the hero no red cloak, He's Jesus No flashing lights, glitz n glam, and no cameras He came to serve needy folks, and point them to the answer You see Him healing, feeding folks, and telling them the standard Our most basic need is to be ransomed by Jesus It has first place, yeah we separated in the worst ways Even physically peep how the earth quakes Separated socially, murder and the worst rapes Even separated from ourselves, we in the worst state It's so major, that's the reason that we need a Savior Cause the root of needs is separation from Creator, Jesus came humbly to restore us to our maker And later He'll restore all that He made bruh, He's Jesus

Verse 3:
God is not pleased man, it's clear that His standards missed The world is running rampant with, sin it's an abandonment Man is feeling stranded, feeling hopeless since his banishment God is angry at the distortion and the mismanagement Evil is at work, but don't be thinking He can't handle it He promised He would do away with all of it, dismantle it He's put up with this damage in His world, but He's promised us That He'll destroy all His enemies and then He'll walk with us New Heaven, new Earth that's where all His sheep dwell Cause Jesus succeeded in every part of life that we failed Died the death we couldn't die, paid our price with 3 nails Began the work He promised, in the end we all will be well Already beat our enemies and when His Kingdom's realized All those who oppose Him will see Jesus with some real eyes Deliverance is offered us, the hero He is urging us Salvation is exclusive to His people who have turned to trust