Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Sunday, April 22, 2018


There is an old story about someone, maybe an angel, asking Jesus after his resurrection what would happen to his message on earth now. He said that the church would be his body now, to be the message. The angel asked what his backup plan was. Jesus replied, “I have no other plans.”

Preachers love stories like that. It provides a platform from which we can harangue church members to get with the plan.

Recently, in the pastoral prayer at our church, I even mentioned that it seems God has no Plan B, implying that the church is Plan A.

As I have thought about it since, I regret that. Actually, the church is no higher than Plan E, which may explain why we are so poor at carrying out the plan.

Plan A was Nature—natural and human. “For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…” {Romans 1:20.} Problem: Greed said the world and its creatures are here just for humans to use to make money.

Plan B was Israel, the whole nation, a people chosen to be “a light to the nations.” [Isaiah 49:6] Problem: Israel was quite willing to believe it was God’s chosen nation, but chosen for privilege, not for purpose.

Plan C was the prophets. Problem: Who the hell cares about a prophet unless there’s a profit? So we get Joel Osteen and his fellow travelers of the “wealth gospel.”

Plan D was Jesus. Problem: The man is impossible, expecting all sorts of unrealistic behavior, a threat to the social order. Must be eliminated.

So now, in desperation, maybe even in resignation it seems, comes the church. Plan E. Problem:


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