On the drive to Dallas this morning I was listening to a little Don Williams because who doesn’t love Don Williams? It was one of his classics, “I Believe In Love.” The kids love it! Not really, but there is only so much children’s music you can listen to and I like to think when they grow up they will be able to say, “I liked listening to Don Williams with my dad in the car.” Doesn’t that sound like a fun memory?
Anyways, as we were jamming out to country classics like Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, one of my favorites came on with a little country twang and I noticed one of his lyrics:
Well, I don’t believe that heaven waits,
For only those who congregate.
I like to think of God as love:
He’s down below, He’s up above.
He’s watching people everywhere.
He knows who does and doesn’t care.
And I’m an ordinary man,
Sometimes I wonder who I am.
And I believe in love…it’s a classic. As we drove down the interstate singing as loud as we can in the car with the family I thought Williams articulated a perception of God and eternity that many have in our culture today. He recognizes the disconnection of heaven being only for those who attend church. It doesn’t sit well with him and I can imagine as he wrote the lyrics he must have wrestled with a type of God that is partial to only those who gather on the hours of 10-11am on Sunday. Seems a little short sighted on God’s part, huh?
We live in Texas and if you grow up in Texas or live here long enough there are two things that happen: First, you become a big fan of Texas. Not necessarily the “Lone Star State” guy who puts stars up all over his house, but when you are surrounded by states like Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico it just leads to arrogance. After all we do have paved roads.
As we approach this celebration there are two theological positions for us to reflect on:
Resurrection: His resurrection is equally important and without the resurrection our eternal state is still encased in sin. The penalty of sin has been satisfied through the cross but it is His resurrection that overcomes sin. Scriptures teaches the wages of sin is death, but Jesus overcomes death, and as a result overcomes sin. I was reading recently that few in the ancient world believed in the resurrection and although it is familiar to us, Christianity was born into a world where its central claim was known to be false.
As we approach the Easter Weekend there are two theological positions for us to reflect on:
Death: His death is significant because it was through His death that God’s wrath toward sin is totally satisfied. This goes all the way back to Genesis 2 when God speaks to Adam and tells him if he eats from the tree he shall surely die. It is at the point of Adam’s disobedience that sin enters into human history and distorts all of creation and separates all of humanity from creator. A Holy God has been offended.