Saturday, April 30, 2011

That Wedding!

It’s not possible to pass the recent royal wedding without comment, whatever one’s view of royalty. It is probably the most significant event in history to date—barring the incarnation—judging by a third of the world’s population watching it. That may only be capped by the return of the planet’s King when “every eye will see Him.”

If nothing else, it is a small glimpse into the glory to be accorded Jesus Christ upon His return to earth and His marriage supper, when all the kings of the earth will bring their riches to Him. If you don’t like some pomp and ceremony, you might want to miss that!

I thought it a pity the boys had to remove their caps for the ceremony. It revealed Will’s thinning pate, and Harry’s unruly hair reminded me of his sometimes unruly behaviour. Both belied the pageantry the occasion required!

I find the adulation shown for specific human beings because of their position or heritage a misplaced form of worship. Perhaps for some, if God is absent from their lives, this provides a convenient alternative. But that doesn’t mean that respect should not be shown for those in authority over us. Even if their shenanigans are reprehensible, we are still called to pray for them and respect the office.

The royal family, as with all authorized ruling officials, have my respect, if not always my admiration. But Will and Kate—oops, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge—provide a welcome breath of cleaner air to the royals. The relative simplicity of Kate’s dress—if a male may be permitted and opinion—suggested a moderate and measured approach to her new life. Surprised to miss painted nails, but I guess the train was inevitable!

Despite their lofty privilege, they resonate as a normal earthly couple. Their long friendship has inspired genuine affection, and bodes well for some stability to the royal heritage, sadly missing from the previous generation. This is especially important when they are models for so many.

Let us pray the vows they made and the Christian principles their ceremony espoused will guide their lives. Perhaps their example will bring more stability to the lives of their people and beyond. I doubt they will read this blog and thank me; nevertheless, they have my congratulations and prayers.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What Does the World Believe aout God

Ipsos/Reuters conducted a survey of over 28,000 people worldwide to assess global belief in God. In a world of six billion, it’s a very small sample, but nevertheless raises food for thought. Read the report at .
It should go without saying that there is no absolute proof of the existence of a supreme being or an afterlife, so a consensus is unlikely, but, according to the poll, about half the world’s population believes in both.
18% said they don’t believe in a god, leaving about a third uncertain. Some in Asia believe in many gods, while the proportion of those who don’t believe in any god reach 40% in Europe and Scandinavia.
Of those believing in an afterlife, 7% thought we are reincarnated, strangely, the largest percentage from Hungary. Other ideas about an afterlife mostly included heaven, less believing in hell, while others were unsure what to expect. Those not believing in an afterlife thought “you simply cease to exist.”
Of course, the safest belief, if true, is that we all die like dogs, and a rotting body is all that remains. That avoids the sticky question of accountability for behaviour in this life. The most frightening scenario is not that there is no afterlife, but that there might be.
The most surprising result of this poll is that so many believe in some deity and an afterlife, considering there is no certain way of confirming either, and the enlightenment has tried eroding this idea for centuries. The growing data of natural reasoning for existence should have convinced the whole world that spiritual beliefs are simply superstition.
Evolution was the last brick in this modern Tower of Babel that attempts to dispense with need for God. Few believe in fairies or Santa Claus, so why should we hold to other apparently improbable beliefs? In fact, why should we even have the capacity to think in spiritual terms if only the physical world exists?
This all-natural approach that we evolved from microscopic life begs the question of why any life form should develop the idea of unseen realities. The jump from simply utilitarian behaviour of animals to the human assumption of an alternate existence is a huge conjectural leap.
Of course, once belief in God is established, the implantation of desire for Him, evidenced in the search for God since history began, becomes a reasonable assumption. It takes determined effort not to wonder about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beyond simply preserving its existence.
It’s easy to dismiss the idea of God in prosperity when it appears we control our destiny. Under those conditions God is unnecessary and not worth keeping. The three billion who believe and the two billion who are uncertain are simply ignorant, deluded, or just fools. (We are left to wonder who the fools are, Psalm 53:1).
If what we observe with our senses is all there is, what’s the point of maintaining the miserable existence of the majority on earth? Culling makes the most reasonable, horrific sense. But the human soul is totally dissatisfied with such a philosophy, and when hard rubber hits the road, all the reasonable disbelief in the world is cold comfort.
No wonder most of the world seeks Him who is beyond it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Personal Easter Reflection

The events of life continually offer fresh insights into the crucifixion. I am reminded of my surgery for prostate cancer two years ago, which strange to say, added real meaning to the cross for me.

Two weeks before surgery, I received an armband with name and barcode on it, together with dire warnings not to remove it or “you’ll get no blood transfusions, nothin’ if you don’t have it on for surgery.”

My surgeon told me I lost a lot of blood during extended surgery time and I received two transfusions. I’m glad I kept that armband on!

It feels a little peculiar to think that I have someone else’s blood flowing through my arteries and veins and I am particularly grateful for that one who donated blood for me. My blood type is AB negative, the rarest of the ABO group. The donor needed the right blood necessary for my survival.

The parallel is all too clear: I am eternally grateful for the blood given for me at the cross—blood of a type suited for my particular need. Human blood gives me earthly existence, but life that gives me meaning is the transcendent life gained from the blood of Jesus Christ.

Because his blood was real, purpose for this life and assurance for the next is also real.