Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Human Software Problem

   Janie and Conover were witnesses to my troubles. They were in the office this week when I went missing. I wasn’t really missing, I just could not be found. The root cause of the problem was my smart phone; it was not delivering text messages.On Monday, at least three different people sent texts to me that I did not receive. There could have been more, but I wouldn’t know!
   I first discovered this little glitch earlier this year when I never heard back from another local preacher about our scheduled lunch meeting. When I called him he told me he had never received my message. I’ve updated my phone and it does not happen all the time, but sometimes text messages that are properly sent simply do not go through. The best I can deduce is that there is some sort of glitch between my cell phone carrier and the operating system of my phone. It is a software problem. 
   Our human condition could be likened to a software glitch. It is not in our design, mind you. The Psalmist declares God is to be praised because we have been fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). God is great at creating things and we are at the very top of his created order (Genesis 1:26-31). The problem found in humanity - which people of faith have referred to as ‘sin’ for a couple of thousand years - is not in our original design. It is something we have done to ourselves. We have created the software glitch. We have taken the freedom that God has given us and twisted, perverted, and abused each other, our world, and even our understanding of God. To top it all off, we often miss out on the very messages God is sending us because we are too busy, too tired, too arrogant, or too dense! God is still speaking, but like my cell phone, we are not receiving God’s messages.
   I am so thankful for Advent. The church has just entered the season of preparing and waiting. It is the reminder that we are in need of a Savior. Hear the truth for you and for me in this Advent lyric:
O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Wisdom from on high, Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show, And teach us in her ways to go. 
     (Author Unknown, 12th century)
   Lord, come that we might be saved. Grace and Peace, Scott

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