Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Dead Don't Remember God Pslam 6:5

StudentSoul is the church that I am involved in planting in Auckland New Zealand. You can tell by the name that it's focus is the student and young working population. We meet for worship on Wednesday Night at the University's Maclaurin chapel. We are a small group but whenever we gather there is an amazing sense of God's presence.

This Wednesday (we've become fourth day Adventists, bad joke I know) We were looking at Psalm 6 (in a series we're calling 'give your soul a lift: exploring the Psalms as they are ways people have lifted their soul to God.'

and we wrestled with Psalm 6:5

5 No one remembers you when he is dead.
Who praises you from the grave

It has been used to talk about early Hebrew understandings of the after life but in looking at the passage there is a sense of David saying to God what good does it do if I die because I wont be able to live my life praising you and telling others of the great things you do'. I illustrated it by showing a clip of the theme song from the movie 'Bucket list' where two elderly men who have terminal diseases write a list of things they want to do before they die. It's starts off with wonderful adventures and adrenaline junky stuff and then gets down to real issues such as reconciliation with estranged family members and seeking forgiveness.

I asked the people at the service what was their bucket list. I found that while at 46 I may have had more of a sense of my own mortality and that (sigh) time is short that those at the service were not captivated by the concept of a bucket list.

The day after (sigh, it always happens) I was reading Terry Wynn's book 'Onward Christian Socialists' and came upon this challenging story about Gladstone and a Young Man.

"There is a story told of Gladstone and a young man in conversation: "What do you want to do with your life?”, asks Gladstone.

"I intend going to Oxford University and getting a first degree", the young man replied.

"What then?", asked Gladstone.

"I intend becoming a lawyer in a London practice", he replied.

"What then?", asked Gladstone.

"Then I intend to pursue a career in politics, becoming a Cabinet Minister", he said.

"What then?", asked Gladstone.

"Then I shall retire to a house in the country",

"What then?", Gladstone asked again.

"Well, then I shall die", he answered hesitatingly.

"What then?", said Gladstone slowly.

"I hadn't planned beyond that", he said.

Gladstone looked at him and said, "Young man you are a fool. Go away and rethink your plans."

Wynn concludes

"If Gladstone were alive today and he confronted many of the Christians I know with the question, "What do you want to do with your life?", I'm sure the answer would be, "To serve God as best I can". They do it in their everyday lives amid the problems and the troubles and the ridicule."

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