Pastor’s Note: Everything is Crumbling Away

Pastor’s Note: Everything is Crumbling Away

Join us for Men’s Ministry in the morning. We’ll be discussing how it is that many men lead two lives. One woman says Matt Lauer is a dear, caring friend; another says he forced himself on her sexually in such a way that she passed out. It appears he was both men. How does Scripture view that? Breakfast begins at 8:00a and we’ll be done by 10:00.

About 13 years ago my son Luke and I, along with another father and son team, attempted to climb a route on the north side of Mt. Adams. There was one point in the route where the ridge-line narrowed to a steep, intimidating hands-and-feet scramble that fell away immediately to the east into the Lava Glacier, and to the west into a steep couloir. After ascending that, the weather worsened to a snow storm and whiteout (in August!). Lacking the “wands” that climbers use in low visibility conditions, we had to turn back.

There’s nothing worse than an unrequited climb, so several years later Luke and I went back to that route accompanied by a friend of Luke’s from college. When we came again to the narrow point in the ridge, I was amazed at how the thin line of rock had decayed over just a few years. Volcanic rock is soft and easily broken, but still, I love the mountains and it was hard to see one crumbling away before my eyes. I can’t remember if I thought of it then, but eventually I thought of Ps. 46 “Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea.” The reason we do not fear is the Lord says to us, “I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

In what has become a relentless vortex of global change at every level, from social to environmental to political, God alone is unmoved and unchanging. There is one constant, and that constant is God himself, and God alone.

As a young believer, I longed to find the one, true Christian tradition or tribe. There, so I thought, I would also find true theology, the best preaching and worship, attended by those, and only those, who worshipped in spirit and in truth. Alas, all Christian traditions have turned out to be flawed, one way or another, just as their theology and worship is an amalgam of good and bad. It took even longer for me to understand that my pursuit of that perfect tradition was the pursuit of a false god — that my life vocation was not to find the perfect setting for myself and my family, but to live life worshiping the one true God, a life that would point to him in the midst of whatever imperfect tradition I landed in.

So I have found that, like the North Cleaver of Mt. Adams, all the institutions that have surrounded me throughout my life are crumbling and in constant decay. I myself am profoundly flawed and inconstant. Yet God is unmoved and unchanging. He alone is “rock and redeemer” (Ps. 19:14). No matter what happens, you can trust that the one thing you absolutely must have is also the one thing — the one person — you do have: “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Do not fear that the earth is crumbling away. It is destined to do so. Know that “our redeemer lives and, at the last, he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25), even as he transforms it into a new heavens, and a new earth.