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SO WHAT'S THE POINT (OF ANYTHING)?

 

That was her question to me: "What's the point?" A bright young lady, a student at Roseau High School at the time she raised the issue. Maybe you're asking this question, perhaps using other words, in relationship to some of the extended, "have toos" surrounding the COVID-19 virus. "What's the point?"

"I hardly ever finish anything I start," she continued. "But what's the point, we're all gonna be dead someday anyway!" I appreciated her boldness to let what was in her head come out of her mouth. But I wasn't worried about her because she asked the question. Questions can be healthy; they help us think through the issues. Questions do not display a lack of faith many times, but part of the working out of a personal faith. We need to give our young people the freedom to ask questions, and when they do, we need to take them seriously no matter where we are in life. How long has it taken to get where we are? The church should always be a receiving place for the questions of life, and, in my opinion, a good, receiving response might be: "I'm interested in why you are asking. What's going on in your head?"

So what's the point (of anything) if we're all gonna die someday? Of course this implies that death ends the whole deal. Period! But that leaves God out of the equation, and it is my persuasion that God is the Point. Maybe that's why Proverbs 1:7 says: "Fear (or reverence for) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools (People who leave God out of the equation of life) despise wisdom and discipline." Let's look into this.

First of all, LIFE IS ALWAYS RELATIONAL. Life has meaning only in relationship to some reference point, and the greater the reference point, the greater the meaning. Am I worth something? What makes life matter, and what's my reference point for matter? The apostle Paul said to the believers in Philippi: "For I want you to understand what really matters, so you may live pure and blameless lives until Christ returns" (Philippians 1:10). Many words put people down instead of building them up; eroding their God-created value. With children and teens, bullying can create this. Words that erode can be generational.

While sitting at my typewriter on a hot, July afternoon during my journey through seminary I heard a commotion on the sidewalk below our apartment. I looked out and saw a mother with three young children. One of them apparently had done something that stirred up the mother and she was giving the child what for. She was calling him names that no one should ever be called; especially a child. What comes early sinks deep in a child's heart. I'm sure the hot, humid afternoon, and trying to ride herd on three children contributed to her outburst, but when I saw and heard the words that came out of her mouth (by the way, she didn't come out of her mother's womb with those words in her mouth) I was reminded of something one of my professors, Dr. John Weborg, one of my spiritual heros, penned in his book, Alive In Christ, Alert to Life: "We give our children the language of life, we teach them how to describe their world." And I've added to this, how to describe themselves. I am reminded of something the apostle Paul wrote to some people who had recently given their lives to Jesus and he wanted them to know that this includes the mouth. "Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them" (Ephesians 4:29). Of course, this was going to take some heart adjustments. Jesus said,"For what ever is in your heart determines what you say" (Matthew 12:34, NLT). "What's the point (of anything)?" The answer to this question is found in Genesis 1:1 from which I believe the whole Bible, in fact all of life is suspended: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." If we truly believe this statement, in a commitment sort of way, it will or should influence our point of view on everything we believe or do.

God is our life, the Devil is our death. Whose point of view are we going to submit to? Adam and Eve faced this question in Genesis 3. We are not alone in this world. We are never independent (right from conception). Choosing pro-life, or abortion will not be our choice. Even if we close our eyes, clinch our fists, and grit our teeth, we cannot be our only frame of reference. The ultimate point of view on life is never us. It's important parents, to help your kids learn this while they're young. Of course, you're not the final or only point of view on life either. I like God's message to fathers in Proverbs 14:26 as translated in the Living Bible: "Reverence for God gives a man deep strength; his children have a place of refuge and security." What's your view on manhood, dad? Don't let alcohol and cigarettes be your point of view on the matter!

Paul wrote to Christians in Romans 14:7-9: "For we are not our own masters when we live or when we die. While we live, we live to please God. And when we die, we go to be with the Lord. So in life and in death, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose, so that he might be Lord of those who are alive and of those who have died" (NLT). I think the writer of the book of Hebrews swings beyond the Christian Faith to make a statement that draws a big red crayon circle around everyone: "And just as it is destined that each person dies only once (so much for reincarnation) and after that comes judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).

So what's the point of anything? God is, with a capital "P" both now and in eternity, He wants us to find our point of view for life in Him, and he has made this possible through his Son who died for our sins and rose again to bring us forgiveness and eternal life: We discover our true worth to the Father expressed through his Son. He's God's Point of view on the matter ---of anything!

Until next time,

Pastor Joe

 

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