Monday, June 20, 2011

"In Your Light We See Light"

"For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God--his way is perfect; the word of teh LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him." - Psalm 18.

Freetime! Melissa and the kids are out of town visiting her Grandma and I am free! This provides me with oodles of time to waste and I decided the other night I'd gather some friends and watch a movie. As I'd already spent some freetime watching Super 8, which is terrific by the way, we decided to go see the Green Lantern.

When I was a kid I loved the Green Lantern. Growing up in England, super-heros were hard to come by, but I came by the Green Lantern via one of the funniest fads of my childhood - some Under-Roos sent to me from America. I'd run around with nothing but my green underwear on, feeling the power of my underpants give me herculean strength and invinciblity. I was the Green Lantern...

Last night, being all alone, some ghosts of my not-to-distant past came out to haunt me, and I was in need of those under-pants. So that you aren't wondering I struggle with lust.

The hormones kicked in for me as I was awoken at 1:30 AM and I was sorely tempted to look at things that no hero would look at. So I cried out to my source of strength: God, and he rescued.

But it wasn't all neat and tidy like, and being the sinner I am it rarely is. Interestingly enough, that day I had visited a new church (as I was alone) and heard the entire Pastoral staff talk on setting up good boundaries and barriers in our lives through accountability, honesty and openess with others in the body of Christ. Odd that I would struggle after hearing that, but oh well.

My barriers worked for me, and I'm really glad because I was getting hell-bent. I say it wasn't neat and tidy as I went around and shook all my barriers to see if they would hold. And this morning I'm shaken by my propensity for evil, my desire to see if I can figure out a way to sin and get away with it. How easily I can go from 0 to 100 when it comes to sin.

One of the pastors yesterday used the quote that "In Your light we see light." I couldn't help being reminded of the Green Lantern. I'm not going to ruin the movie for you, it's just that the movies major theme is that this very irresponsible man is chosen by the lantern (something very alien) to protect mankind.

He has no idea why he's chosen, but as he taps into the power of the lantern he's changed. As he repeats the lantern oath: “In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!“ He's an irresponsible fool who has an alien strength that gives him power to fight evil. Something lights his lamp, enabling him to fight. Sound familiar?

That's the whole idea behind barriers. They are alien to us because they're from God. Little do we know that God's boundaries function as his grace. Grace is the law. Law is Grace. Humans ruin grace by turning it into licentiousness. And Humans ruin the Law by turning it into legalistic ritual. Law and grace are the same.

And last night God's grace through the law, which was represented by appropriate boundaries, rescued me. As I tapped into his alien power and asked him to light my lamp, he was able to make me see, or at least this morning I see, the danger I was in. Christ is my power and refuge:

"my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold... In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears... He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me." - Psalm 18.

Maybe David didn't run around in Under-Roos, but I'm thinking he would have liked the Green Lantern...

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