Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Devotion 4.12.17

Note:  While football isn't the value of a university, Spike Dykes was the face of Texas Tech University for many years, and even in retirement, he still spoke and provided service to the community.  Our thoughts and prayers are with those who knew him or worked with him and those who loved him as family.  Many great stories I've heard since coming to Lubbock about a man who could put a smile on any face.

Didn't they hold a candlelight vigil when Kliff Kingsbury came into town as Tech's next coach?  And didn't they extend his contract only seven games into his first season?  And now, aren't many calling for him to go, after just three seasons? It wasn't hard to be popular really, given the circumstances.  A popular coach fired.  A coach with a fairly good reputation follows him, but mixes with Tech like oil with water and leaves in the cover of darkness.  Then Kliff, who just a few years earlier was the first quarterback in a high power, high octane offense, returns after working under several successful coaches (albeit one whose reputation is now tainted, blemished, and beyond recovery), was returning to provide Tech with that level of excitement the fans had grown accustomed to.  And now they want him gone.

You see this play out all the time.  The person brought in with a level of enthusiasm unparalleled for his or her potential to resurrect the program, organization, or team, is sent packing after a short period of time.

Of course all of this is just drama compared to what unfolds during Holy Week, as we now observe it.  On what has now become "Palm Sunday," we observe the crowds cheering Christ's entry into the city as described in Matthew 21.  "Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!"  (9)  In just a few short days, those same crowds will be shouting, "Let him be crucified!... Let him be crucified!" (27:22)

Our fickle human sinful nature recognizes the glory of the Lord one minute and then scorns it in the next breath.  As Dietrich Bonhoeffer (German theologian killed by the Nazis shortly before the end of WW II) notes, we live in a state of "cheap grace," in which we meet God on our terms, but God doesn't meet us on our terms, He meets us on His.  Grace is "costly," Listen to Bonhoeffer's words:  "...the world finds a cheap covering for its sins; no contrition is required, still less any real desire to be delivered from sin.  Cheap grace therefore amounts to a denial of this living word of God, in fact, a denial of the Incarnation of the Son of God."

Pray that the faith life we lead is one that speaks of the costly grace of Christ is one in which our actions speak loudest.  Pray that we reach out to the community and the world to speak of the costly grace that came with a price.  Pray that we remain faithful and not fickle in our faith lives.

Hope Men's Ministry

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