Did We Miss a Memo?
You have a lunch date with a group of friends. You arrive at the restaurant and see most of them at a table across the room. You approach and realize every last one of them is dressed in some shade of blue. You are not. You say, "Well, I wish I'd gotten the memo!" Everyone laughs. But it's actually a bit painful. It's a way of saying you feel left out. Uninformed. In the dark. And for most of us that's an uncomfortable state to be in.
We've heard it said that when a speaker or teacher or presenter or salesperson wants to get a point across, it's best to say what needs to be said, say it again, and then say it yet again. The third time is the charm? Or do we all simply suffer from information overload? Lack of focus? What does it take for us to not miss life's important memos?
Many years ago, I came across a poster in a bin at a Michael's store. I bought it and had it framed because I appreciate the words it displays. It's titled "Every Woman Should..." and is basically a list of things completing that introductory phrase. One item on the list is "...understand the difference between don't tell a soul and don't tell a soul I mean it." Adding the words "I mean it" emphasizes the importance, doesn't it? Seals the deal (and the lips!). Makes the message an unmissable memo.
Suppose God has been in the memo-writing business since the beginning of time. Communication is pretty important to the Divine after all. What sorts of messages has God hoped to get across to us? What might the Lord be trying to say today? We might imagine how hurtful it must be to God when we don't pay attention. Or when we find the Good News too good to accept. Or when we turn toward more glamorous gabbers. Or when we miss a memo because it isn't accompanied by thunder and lightning or an angelic chorus. If we are hoping for God's unmistakable signature on these memos, what would it look like? Sound like? Feel like?
Several weeks ago, we celebrated Jesus' resurrection. Because we are wired by our culture to think in terms of rewards and punishments, it might be easy to read that memo as being for Jesus only as the reward for his perfectly faithful life. But what if God's point is much, much broader than that? What if being raised to new life isn't really a reward at all? And what is the message in this memo anyway? That God is in the business of life- abundant life- and God means it? Absolutely! Or in the words of Eugene Peterson, "God's unmanageable but irrepressible life" which is "ever present and hidden within and around us." Is it too good to be true that it is for us too? The message in God's Word for us this Sunday is a memo we won't want to miss!