6.16.2008

In Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, the adventure is a given. We all know what we’re going to see when we go into the theatre. We are expecting a good ride, and whether or not the movie actually delivers on these expectations is up for debate. But I think there’s another interesting story that is going on underneath the surface that I think is instructive for us.

In the story, there is this young man, “Mutt”. A horrible name, really for any human. He’s given himself that name, because there was no one else to name him. He’s a typical tragic figure, doesn’t know who his father, and he behaves accordingly. He’s reckless, he’s a bit dangerous, even a little “lost.”

But the thing is, Mutt does have a father, even if he doesn’t recognize it. What’s more, Mutt is unknowingly emulating and imitating parts of his father’s personality. I don’t want to give away the story, but let’s just say that Mutt does have a father, and he’s more like his father than he realizes. Eventually, he meets his dad, and when he does, everything makes sense. His name, “Mutt” is now irrelevant, because his father now claims him, could even rename him if he was so inclined.

And so it is with us. Some of us here (this morning) know that we have a heavenly father, and we freely acknowledge him. If we claim Yahweh as our father (through Jesus), then we should obviously be continuing to orient our lives around—surprise—the things that Yahweh does. And what does he do? You can read it all through the bible. He seeks to be a blessing to the nations (through Abraham), he protects widows and orphans (Psalm 68), he seeks and saves that which was lost (Jesus in the gospels).

In fact, theologically speaking, if you really want to know what your Father likes to do, and therefore wants us to do, just read the gospels. Scripture tells us that Jesus was the very representation of God on earth. So when you want to know how your father spends his time, watch the way Jesus spends his time.

• Praying in “lonely places”
• Hanging out with his close friends
• Having challenging conversations
• Healing people
• Welcoming in people who are outside of the religious establishment

So at the very least, if you know who your father is, you should be about imitating him, like Mutt did. But what about those of us in a different category? Some of us here this morning are a lot more like Mutt, in that we really don’t know who our heavenly father is (even if we know who the names of our earthly fathers). We have no spiritual family, and would consider ourselves floating or alone in the world in that way. If that’s you this morning, I’d like to plant a thought in your head.

What if you are more like your heavenly, TRUE father than you’d care to admit or acknowledge? What if God—the creator of the universe—has left his genetic imprint on you, and that it is almost inevitable that, from time to time, the best of you comes out, and you are actually imitating God and Jesus, even while you don’t know that you are.

Woah.

As a Believer, I’d like to say a couple of things, (a) I think that God is responsible for everything good in this world. If it’s good, God made it; it’s just that simple. While I believe that we do live “east of Eden”, in a fallen world, I believe that every glimpse of something positive has as its ultimate source our Father in heaven. (b) Just because you may not believe this, doesn’t make it less true. Doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have the ability (or even the right) to work in and through your life, even when you don’t acknowledge him.

Give somebody who’s hungry some food? That’s God’s work in your life. Be there for a friend who’s in a tough place? God. A lot of time, he’s just waiting for you to acknowledge that. But whether you recognize it or not, he’s still going to do it.

So for those of you who would consider yourselves a “mutt” today, unaware of who your father is, have never learned from him, I’d like to ask you this morning, “What if you still carried around the genetic thumbprint of your Dad? What if you knew that there things that you did that were “just like him.” Furthermore, what if you knew that your dad was out there looking for you, and waiting to give you His name? Wouldn’t that be cool? There’s an image in scripture of God claiming his children, and it says that he has written, for all of us, a new name that only He knows.

So for those of you this morning who know who your dad is, keep doing the things your father does. Learn more about his nature. Imitate him. For those of you who are still searching that out, just be reminded that God is at work in your lives, whether you realize it or not. Oftentimes, it’s just a matter of learning where and how he’s at work. It’s mind-blowing to think about, but you are NOT put on the outside of the work of God just because you may not acknowledge his presence. Personally, if that were true, what would it say about the sovereignty of God? Read Isaiah and the prophets: over and over, God raises up “pagan” nations—Babylon, Persia—to accomplish his purposes. It’s not without precedent.

I think that’s so cool! God wants to work with us, through us, no matter where we are in life. We are the instruments here on earth. We are his hands and feet. A great first step this morning may be to just acknowledge for the first time that there is a God in heaven, and the Father of us all. You may need to do that through clenched teeth, or while you roll your eyes, but I’d challenge you this morning to just take a chance, and tell God that you want to know him more. That you’d like to learn just a little more about your Father. Maybe you’d even like to join his family officially; take his name on.

1 Comments:

At 12:30 PM , Blogger beth said...

ah, but you did. and methinks you could preach. is the pulpit calling you?

that's great. blessed me today.

 

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