Friday, January 15, 2010

Why the name ProjectEzraRising?

Well, As I thought about my own journey, it seemed that Ezra was a good fit for my current state and what I hope to be a part of as time passes. As you already know, Ezra was a person God had called to be a part of the rebuilding of Israel after their captivity. I think we live in similar times. Ezra was a scribe who protected the scriptures by copying them in a most meticulous manner so they would be preserved. When it was God's time, He called Ezra back from captivity and he became the backbone of the raising of a nation and a reconciling of the nation back to their God.

Let's face it, we all have notions about the 'grand plan' of God. Some of us would confess that we think we know more about it than others but if we are honest, we are like the rest, just fumbling around in the dark. To confess such is the real truth of it. I mean, to say we have a great revelation that others don't borders on the insane.

Want a dose of reality? here it is:

We stand a point 2000 years from the delivery by Jesus and His apostles. They spoke and wrote in ancient languages -- some even dead today. They lived in a culture that is very foreign to us and were steeped in a society that is very clouded to us today. That is the reality. To think we could understand and even surpass those to which we only have remnants of what they said is beyond being practicable. So when we take those same scriptures with a modern mind in a western culture what can we really hope to find that are the 'deeper things' of God? I think not. In fact to say we have such understanding is just not being realistic. You want proof? Let me ask you, just how many church groups and denominations are there that say they understand better than anyone else. I don't see this as error myself but more like over-estimating one's ability. I know, having been that kind of person for years and following those that held themselves as such really has been something I have had to re-learn.

So what is the key? Well, I think it has to do with keeping things very simple. Isn't it funny that the only thing most groups have in common is that they for the most part:

1> believe in Jesus
2> He was the incarnate son of God
3> He was sent by the Father to reconcile the world to Himself.
4> He died a sinners death
5> on the third day He was resurrected.
6> if we believe in Him and ask forgiveness, He will be the payment for our sin.
7> we will receive the Holy Spirit (let's be general here).
8> at the end of life we will go to be with Him where He is.

Pretty much the Nicene Creed ain't it.

When we talk any other topic such as water baptism, spirit baptism, holiness, spiritual authority,
end time realties, you name it...everyone has their own interpretation. What can be gleaned from this? Keep it simple stupid (I say this to myself). Perhaps the reality is that all we can really know is the simple faith in Christ. It would seem that is the one shining path across the centuries. To the rest, we can only grasp to understand. The very areas of controversy cloud the message of save a lost world. If we are to be messagers of integrity, let us first grapple with our own limitations.

So back to the name...

Sounds a little bit like what Ezra faced. A people who had an inkling of knowing about God. A people God had called to Himself to make the trip. A people who had no real clue of what to do and how to live. Who was Ezra? One who knew his own limitations. He was no leader, he was no rock-star, he just loved the book. He wanted others to hear it. Out of that small effort, just reading the scriptures and leaving the rest up to God, changed a nation. To the scripture a nation bowed.

May it be so in our day.

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