Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Letter From Nathan Ekama - May 1, 2020

Letter From Nathan Ekama

May 1, 2020

If schools were in session, now would be the season of superlatives. Students would be preparing to graduate from school and yearbooks would be distributed. In the midst of it all, a whole crop of individuals would become known by their superlatives. Labels of like the "most likely to succeed", "best dressed", or perhaps "best smile" are often given out.

While yearbooks are notorious for their lists of superlatives, these hyped up labels are easy to find throughout our society. Advertisers are often pedaling the latest, greatest, newest, biggest, thinnest, lightest, fastest, best gizmos. Because who wants the old stuff? That is unless it's the oldest, rarest, chique-est, rustiest, most retro, most authentic, most substantial, most uniquely original gadget. In that case, yes please! You can even go back in time to see advertisements showcasing the Greatest Show on Earth, The Amazing Spiderman, or even Royal Baking Powder - Absolutely Pure.

Outside of direct product advertising, superlatives are also used to garner social media impressions via video clickbait titles like, "The 10 Best Ways to Save for Retirement." Even news outlets employ superlatives to hook you into watching their segments on the "latest news" and "breaking news updates." Perhaps way back when Noah was building the ark, some opportunistic reporter wrote a story about "the craziest guy on the planet." Or maybe when Nimrod was building in Babel, it was hailed as the tallest tower and "The World's First Great Wonder" by the Babel News Network. And when Solomon reigned in Israel, maybe there were tabloids running bits about folks who had spoken with the wisest man ever to live.

Superlatives have been used in the past and are still used today simply because they work. We have likely read COVID-19 headlines that used this tactic. Our eyes are grabbed and our interest is piqued by the latest, greatest, newest, worst, whateverest headline. Knowing our proclivities, God inspired Paul to record two reminders for us in Ephesians 4:11-16 and 2 Timothy 4:3-4. Our tendencies to get itching ears or to be tossed about by whatever we hear both result in us losing our bearings with what is true.

In as much as God inspired the cautionary parables in Ephesians and Timothy, He has also brought about the cure. In 2 Timothy 1:6-7 we are reminded "to stir up the gift of God which is in [us] through the laying on of hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." God has given us the solution to our human, carnal proclivities: His Spirit. Him living in us is what changes us.

In the midst of our spiritual walk from Egypt to the Promised Land, we need to make sure that we are keeping our eyes where they ought to be - on the Pillar of Cloud/Fire. God is the one who grants power, love, and soundness of mind. No matter what may be happening around us, Our Father truly is the calm in the storm. He doesn't rely on hype or superlatives. Instead, He promises peace and rest (John 14:27).

I pray that we can each pursue that wonderful rest. Have a great Sabbath! 

 

Your brother-in-Christ,
Nathan Ekama