For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV)
Below is the latest offering from my daughter’s blog, “My Soul Found Rest.” In so many ways, we have trivialized the meaning of this season with our parties, packages, and programs. Lest we forget the plan of Almighty God and the reason for all our merriment-–we have a Savior and His name is Christ the Lord.
In one of the classes I took for undergraduate work, we were required to read chapters for a certain textbook (I won’t mention which one) and write short essays on them about what we’ve learned. As a disclaimer, I’ll just say that there were some things that I really liked and that I found really helpful. But in general, I found myself frustrated and discontent with the lack of detail contained in the chapter. The time I spent reading the chapter could have actually been spent reading the Bible! I traded in twenty minutes I could have spent soaking in the rich detail of the gospels for a warmed-over summary of them that somehow manages to give the entire story of Jesus’ life in about fifteen pages in a boring and rote manner. The information found therein is such as might be in Christianity 101A… anyone who’s been a Christian for more than six months probably does and should know the information in this chapter. This is a Christian college—so what’s wrong with this picture? I think we would be far better off actually reading the Word of God and chewing on it for what it is than trying to spoonfeed ourselves ready-made baby food. We don’t grow that way. Did I learn anything from the chapter? Yes! But all it made me want to do was go deeper. I don’t want easy Christianity. I don’t want something that can be neatly packaged up and that’s it. The beauty of Christianity is that it can be beautifully wrapped up and handed to someone as a neat package—but once you unwrap the package, there’s another layer. And another. And another. And all the while you still have the same information, but it is infinitely deep, because we have an infinite God.
I long for a class in which we’re required to actually grow in our faith, not stock up nice little facts we’ve probably learned already (if not through the Word, then at least in Sunday school!) to spit out again when called for. I long for a class in which the textbook requires actual thought and doesn’t have fill-in-the-blank questions at the end of each chapter so that I can remember the year Jesus died and the exact place He was baptized. Is that all that interesting and important? Sure! But wouldn’t we be a lot better off knowing our Bibles so well that we know the chapter and verse where that information is found anyway?
Walking with God requires you to go beyond the facts. It requires understanding. And commitment. God is infinite. No matter how committed we are and how much we study we’ll never get to the bottom of Him. We’ll never run out of things to learn about Him. Being with Him never gets old or stuffy or boring. So let’s have a little more in our study beyond the basics. There is a time for milk, but we can’t stay baby Christians forever. Let’s eat meat. There’s plenty of it.
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