Thanks to Sherman for these mediations. My response in bold
Isaiah 1.10, 16-20
We live in a world of stars and celebrities. And perhaps there is something within each person that reaches out to the stars in response to a deep longing within ourselves for significance. After all, it is a world that has eyes only for the conspicuous and reveres those that eventually make it to the public scene.
But the call for the child of God is the call to be small. Amidst the voices around us that cultivate a reverence towards that which is significant, the righteous voice of God summons us to embrace the posture of insignificance.
How does one embrace such a posture? One does that by returning to the call to embrace God’s real concerns for the world. God does not desire that we seek places of honour in society or even occupy the seats of the religious celebrities. Instead, he keeps on dreaming for a people that will, in their posture of insignificance, love Him by doing what is right. He seeks a people who will “uphold justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless, and plead the case of the widow” (Is 1.17). They are the reason Christ came.
Reflection: How important is it to you that God’s love for the needy be reflected in your Christian life? How can you better embody this concern, practically, as an expression of your devotion to God?
Two episodes the last few days helped me connect to the heart of true significance (or in Sherman’s words “the call to be small” and “the posture of insignificance”). One visit and one phonecall (pretty much out of the public eye). The battle is often in the mind and arena of motivations. Why go? Why pick up the phone? So, I may look good? or not look bad? These usually are possible starting points. But, it’s too easy to be paralysed by this kind of self-analysis. Because that might turn out to be another form of self-preoccupation with the significance issue. Trying to hard to be small as a way to be significant? 🙂 One must move beyond these points … what’s really important is what is the good we can offer our neighbor? Their well-being has a higher priority that our well sorted out unsettledness (which often clouds the immediate prompting of the Spirit). Its good to be reminded that whatever that’s bubbling in our heads, it doesn’t have to hinder one from going ahead and “love Him by doing what is right”. Often a celebrity status or notority may not be self-generated (or it is a mixture of many factors including the kind of “world of stars and celebrities” we live in), the antidote I guess is to stick to the path and the posture that Christ … i.e. embracing his concerns as ours and engaging in the causes that are close to his heart. We do all this while acknowledging the reality of human perceptions and expectations (with all it’s glory and sinfulness), and yet keeping the focus and center on Kingdom missional realities.
Action: Channel the energies of over-analysis to simple acts of kindness (which may or may not require much “planning”.