Sunday, December 28, 2008

Awaken the Dawn

I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.

                        Psalm 57.8-9

A New Morning

Day by day, I gain confidence we’re on the edge of a new morning in Church history and the life of God’s people. Believers of every stripe, from everywhere are coalescing into a committed, vocal movement for tolerance and acceptance of all Christians, straight or gay, left or right, male or female, etc. We’re reaching critical mass and I have no doubt we’ll soon become a force to be reckoned with. This is also true of society as a whole, which is unconsciously hewing to God’s will to exert pressure from without while we advocate change within. The beauty of this is equal push from both sides guarantees the Church’s walls will neither explode nor implode. They will stand in the end.

If the cliché about the darkest hour holds water—and I think it does—turmoil generated by pro-straight marriage initiatives very well could indicate a brighter sun hovers below the horizon. The outcry against such callous discrimination has commanded global attention and support from corners that ordinarily keep silent. While we revile the injustice of these propositions, we can’t give in to panic and alarm. God is in the works and He’s using the foolishness of men to confound their leaders. Situations like this are nothing new to Him. Time after time, He’s lifted His hand long enough for those alleging to speak and act in His name to go too far. And then He’s exposed their chicanery for what it was.

The Pits

David describes this in Psalm 57.6: “They spread a net for my feet—I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path—but they have fallen into it themselves.” He then adds a musical direction, “Selah,” which marks a pause for the congregation to consider what it’s just sung before going on. Here’s the thing about people who dig pits: they always make a big deal about what they’re doing. We can see what they’re up to from miles away and know to move around them when we get there. This typically frustrates them no end. Sooner or later infighting breaks out among them and they trip over their own snares. A former pastor of mine used to say, “If you dig one grave, you better dig two.”

A Coming-Out Party

Observing his tormentors’ self-destruction puts David in an exultant mood. “I will awaken the dawn,” he shouts. “I will praise God among the nations. I will sing among the people.” It’s a coming-out party and he’s hastening the day. Are we not seeing what David saw? The notoriety and disgust our adversaries intended to slather on us have affixed to them. We can stare from afar at the horizon for glimmers of sunrise. Or we can awaken the dawn by praising God openly and singing His glory among the people. We can come out of hiding to make our presence felt in houses of worship and communities of faith. Acts 2, often called the “birth chapter” of the Church, ends thusly: “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Whether returning or coming in for the first time, we’re being added daily. It’s our time and responsibility to awaken the dawn.

A new day is breaking in the Church--let's awaken the dawn!

(Tomorrow: God’s Calendar)


Grace said...

Hey, Tim,

Just wanted to come over, and thank you for your kindly witness, and encouragement even toward people still struggling with the whole issue of God's will, and same-sex attraction, and especially for your testimony of faith in Jesus Christ.

I honestly think if more had this kind of spirit as opposed to the "aiming for the face," you are nothing but "vermin," attitude, we would all be making alot more headway toward full GLBT equality all around.

God bless you!!!

FranIAm said...

I love the imagery of this post and how you have woven it all together.

The dawn is what it is all about and it always indeed darkest just prior to it.

It is time to let the sun and the Son shine in a way that brings true light to all.

Thank you for your words always and for your amazing witness. This blog just astounds me every time that I arrive.

Tim said...

Grace, thank you so much for your encouraging words. I truly believe more and more of us are waking up to the fact that there's no benefit in arguing among ourselves and--finally--opting to treat one another with the love and kindness Christ commands. All this fear and injustice can't last forever if we really intend to be people who please the Lord. His Spirit is turning hearts in that direction, and amazing changes are starting to happen! Blessings and peace to you--and thanks again!

Fran, when God calls for light, there will be light. I pray all of us--especially my GLBT brothers and sisters--will yield ourselves to be His instruments of light as we rise together out of our self-imposed darkness. I'm so grateful for your generosity of spirit, Fran, both here and to our community as a whole. You never cease to inspire me as you shine the warm light of God's love!

Sherry Peyton said...

I agree Tim. We are I think on the cusp of a new era. The tipping point is approaching and a cosmic consciousness is being reached. Soon, we shall be shocked that anyone would have such antiquated and mean beliefs. May God help us hurry along this process of tolerance around the world for all peoples.

Tim said...

Sherry, you're so right it is up to us to hurry things along. That's going to require some earnest introspection on our part, which is much more difficult than inspecting others' faults. And though this may sound as if I'm trivializing the situation, I don't think we can underestimate our fatigue and boredom with all this conflict.

We are our Father's children and the creative passion we inherited from Him shouldn't be ruled out as a driving factor here. I believe many of us (on both sides) are tired of creating trouble. We're starting to wonder what might come of creating peace and tolerance and respect. Forgive the pun, but once that dawns on more of us, our "antiquated and mean beliefs" (well said) will be yesterday's news.

Always a joy when you add your thoughts, Sherry--and so happy that you've bounced back from that nasty flu, too!

Peace and light to you in this coming year.