The End and the Means

Good morning. It is Saturday, February 14, 2015. Welcome to the Weekend Edition, pt. 1! Yes, it is Valentine’s Day. Also, only six more days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training, and 51 days until Opening Day.

Today’s word of the day is lovescape. It is a noun, meaning, “A view, depiction, or evocation of love; (also) a context or setting for love.” Have you designed your “lovescape” for Valentine’s Day?

Today is also International Book Giving Day. Originally begun in the UK, this holiday emphasizes sharing favorite books with young readers. There is an official website, here.

Yesterday was a fine day, and not be friggatriskaidekaphobic, I wasn’t bothered at all. It was very busy for me, though, and I wound up staying an hour over. But I wasn’t at all upset about it, and just hummed right along, doing what needed to be done. Christi stopped at Braum’s, on the way home, and picked up dinner. They completely messed our order up. She kept the receipt, and, allegedly, the next time we stop there, they will remake that order for us. I don’t know what is so difficult about following a food order and getting it right. The order on the ticket was correct. Whoever made the burgers just didn’t pay attention. Either that, or we got someone else’s burgers. Anyway, we settled in to watch some TV shows while we ate, watching the most recent episodes of Modern Family, Parks and Recreation, New Girl, Mindy Project, and The Blacklist. I think that’s all we watched.

Christi is currently talking to assisted living places to see if there is any place that can help her mother. The problem is, their income is a bit too high for the places that offer financial assistance, but not enough for the places that don’t. Assisted living is mostly privately funded, and very expensive. It is rather unfair, if you think about it. Unless you’ve saved up an awful lot of money, seniors in our country who need physical assistance in their later years are pretty much, well, screwed. Oh, well. Can’t solve that problem today. Christi’s mother says she refuses to go to any of those places, anyway. She’s more comfortable making everyone that she supposedly “loves” take care of her. I need to not get started on that. Moving on . . .

We have our weekly Anchor prayer gathering this afternoon, followed by our worship service, all beginning at 4:45. We are continuing our series for February, called Gather, which is all about church membership and why it is important, especially in our modern culture. Tonight’s message will be from Hebrews 10:19-25, a great passage about believers gathering together. gather All are welcome. We are The Exchange.

After church, we have been invited to hang out with some friends, at their house. We haven’t done that in a while, so that should be fun. I have no idea what tomorrow brings. Perhaps we’ll go bowling. And then, I’m off work on Monday, because I have to work next Saturday. That reminds me . . . I need to let our pastor know that I might not make it in time for the prayer gathering. That’s kind of important, since I lead the prayer gathering.

(Source: Wikipedia)

It was on this date in 1843 that the event occurred, which was the inspiration for the Beatles song, “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” from their Sgt. Pepper’s album. Everything in the song was taken from an event poster, which John Lennon bought in an antique shop on January 31, 1967. The poster was for Pablo Franque’s Circus Royal, at Town Meadows, Rochdale. The event was scheduled for Tuesday evening, February 14, 1843. And here is the song:

Today’s birthdays include Jack Benny (comedian), Jimmy Hoffa (labor union leader), Woody Hayes (coach), Edward Platt (actor), Hugh Downs (TV host), Murray the K (disc jockey), Lois Maxwell (actress), Vic Morrow (actor), Florence Henderson (actress), Michael Bloomberg (media mogul), Gregory Hines (dancer/actor), Teller (Penn & Teller), JoJo Starbuck (ice skater), Alan Hunter (MTV VJ), Meg Tilly (actress), Simon Pegg (actor), Rob Thomas (singer), Yuka Sato (figure skater), and Drew Bledsoe (quarterback).

Alan Hunter is on of MTV’s original VJs. He was born on this date in 1957, just a little more than a year before me. He can still be heard, along with Martha Quinn and some of the other original VJS, on XM Radio’s “80s on 8” channel.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

From your presence let my vindication come! Let your eyes behold the right!
You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.

Psalm 17:2-4

(FromSolid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Christ As Means and End.”

I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

“Why did God create the universe, and why is he governing it the way he is? What is God achieving? Is Jesus Christ a means to this achievement or the end of the achievement?

“Jesus Christ is the supreme revelation of God. He is God in human form. As such, he is the end, not a means.”

The meaning of the universe is the glorification of God. That is his purpose for it; it is what he is achieving. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1) The history of the world declares the glory of God, as well.

Jesus, however, was also sent to accomplish something. “He came to remedy the fall. He came to rescue sinners from inevitable destruction because of their sin. These rescued ones will see and savor and display the glory of God with everlasting joy.”

Many will scorn the glory of God. They have, for generations, and will continue to do so until the end of time, as we know it. Jesus Christ is the means to what God is accomplishing.

As Jesus died on the cross for sinners, he revealed “the love and righteousness of the Father supremely.” This was the height of God’s revelation of glory and grace. In that moment, in that perfect act of revelation, “Jesus became the end of that purpose. He became, in his dying in the place of sinners and his resurrection for their life, the central and supreme revelation of the glory of God.

“Christ crucified is therefore both the means and the end of God’s purpose in the universe.”

Without the work of Jesus, that revelation of the fullness of God’s glory for our enjoyment would not have happened. As Jesus was the means of this accomplishment, he became the end, and he will forever be the focus of our worship.

“Jesus is the end for which the universe was made, and the means that makes that end possible to enjoy.”

Father, I have been focusing on Galatians 2:20 for a while, now, in my prayers. The desire of my heart is for this life of Christ to be in me, to be the life that I live in the flesh. As I read this reading, this morning, it spoke volumes to me about the purpose of Christ in the revelation of your glory and grace. Seldom do I ponder that Jesus Christ was both end and means in what you have accomplished, but I see that this is true. May I see hims as the supreme revelation of your glory and grace, and may I see him as He who will be worshiped for all eternity! I cannot wait to see him face to face, Father! I so look forward to worshiping Christ for ever and ever. Help me to be a better representative of this grace and glory during my life on earth. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

I pray for this day. As Christi does her morning chores, may you keep her safe. I pray for no drama or anxiety today as she interacts with her mother and step-dad. Bring peace, Father. I pray for our prayer and worship this evening. May your name be lifted high. Open our ears to hear what the Spirit would say to us through your servant, Jacob. I pray for our fellowship afterward, that you would be honored by it. I also pray that you would help Stephanie to feel better today. She’s having a difficult time shaking this cold.

Your grace is sufficient.

There is fuel for meditation in today’s reading. Christ is all and in all. He is both ends and means to the revelation of God’s glory and grace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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