24/05/17 - Pastor Young
A few years ago, I went to see the movie Les Miserables. I was pretty excited to see it with Borra (then my girlfriend), because I had heard lots of great things about the movie. Reviews seemed pretty good. Without knowing too much about musicals, I thought it would be nice and romantic. Singing and a redemptive story -- what's not to like?
As we sat in the cinema, my ears perked up at the first song, but I grew concerned when they remained that way for quite a while. Why was there so much singing?
I looked nervously at Borra. This wasn't what I expected. I didn't know much about musicals, but surely there was spoken dialogue, and not just nonstop singing, right?
My expectations of what a musical should be coloured the whole experience. And when this musical did something that wasn't within my paradigm, I felt uncomfortable. It made a statement about what it was, not what I had defined it to be.
The parable of the children in the marketplace illustrates this point. The people are pictured sitting like children, complaining that John the Baptist and Jesus do not follow their rules. Their expectations of who God is colours their perception of how God's messengers should act. "We're playing a tune, why aren't you dancing? We're singing a sad song, why aren't you crying?" they say, pointing their fingers at Jesus and John for not listening. Like children, they refuse to play the game unless it's according to their rules. They reject God's messengers, and in doing so, they attempt to shape God by their own rules.
In the cinema, I struggled with the movie because I became consumed with the fact that there was so much music. I wasn't concerned with the cinematography. I wasn't concerned with the actual singing involved, or even the story; I was bogged down by the minor details.
Do you have this problem too, when it comes to God?
In the parable, the children are compared to the people of the generation who are experts on minor issues. They become almost hypnotised by these issues, and fail to look at the issues of actual importance.
Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.
They accept God's messengers in Jesus and John. They don't get bogged down in the minutia. They see the bigger picture and accept God for who He is. "I Am who I Am," says God, rather than allowing for us to define Him.
Will we also be as wisdom's children are? Or will we sit in the darkened cinemas of our minds, wondering about the form and questioning the way the medium doesn't meet our expectations?
Praying for a focused devotion to Him,