Sunday, March 30, 2008

Vanity Lair

It's not often i have a Saturday morning without anything to do, but yesterday was one such occasion. Sadly i ended up watching a few minutes of a new channel four show called vanity lair. Before i turned it off for the sake of my mind i learnt the premise of the show was something like this:

Vanity Lair is home of ten beautiful Lairmates. Each is competing to be crowned the most beautiful and win a cool £10,000. Every week, three outsiders compete for a single place in the coveted Lair. The Lairmates must decide who stays,(the one they consider to be the most beautiful) but at a cost... The outsider they choose will have to pick a Lairmate who must leave the Lair forever (who they consider to the the least beautiful)

Having turned off the tv for the sake of my brain, i opened my Bible to the start of the beautitudes, and was hit in the face fully by how different the values of the world are from the values of the Kingdom.

'blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted'

Do we want to achieve happiness as Christians? Then the Lord says we must mourn, and it will be happiness that world neither understands nor envies. The verse more or less says 'happy are the sad' Mourning can cover many different things in today's society, or at least, cover many different sorts of occasions but it seems that Jesus has mourning over sin in view here. A righteous, holy grief over our rebellion against the King of Kings. Carrying on from His last sentence 'blessed are the humble' he now turns our attention what should make us humble, our sin, and what our reaction to it should be. Mourning.

And why is mourning the way to joy? Because in honesty and humility we can hold our hands up and say tho those around us 'i messed up, in fact, i don't just do bad things, i am bad' in total security knowing that those around us are in the same boat, that our individual weakness combined gives us great strength. And why else are the mournful happy? Because you can't be mournful over sin, not properly, unless you know Jesus, unless you've looked at Calvary, unless you've been with Him, tasted His goodness, and realise that it was your sin that sent Him to the cross. That should make us mourn, that should bring us to a contrite joy in the Lord, and it will make us secure in our communities of the redeemed with others who have done the same. In the Church here, and then ultimately where true blessing is, in unbroken relationship with Jesus forever in Heaven.

That feeling, that pleasing grief and mournful joy is a million miles away from the Vanity Lair house. There may have been outward beauty there, but it manifested itself outwardly in insecurity, pride, argument and backbiting. The cross deal with this. As we kneel together before the cross we realise that none of us, not one us is there because we deserve to be, we look up at the tree and see Jesus hanging where we should be. And we mourn. But in that same moment we rejoice, we rejoice because of the love of the Father for the Son and the love of the Son for the Father that effects our forgiveness, and initiates our relationship with Him. I want that deeply joyful mourning over the microcosm of 21st century culture which is the Vanity Lair any day.

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