The 80’s gave birth to an endless string of sappy love songs. To be sure, more than one romantic heart found inspiration and consolation in one of those songs where the artist seemed to be singing about a condition of the heart in which those experiencing love or heartache or both could relate. While we could take a poll to determine which of those songs would win the title of Most Sappiest, in my opinion, one that would be a top contender would have to be Lionel Richie’s, Hello. Agree or disagree (maybe you should search it online just to refresh your memory), I was just simply considering the line in that song that says, “Hello! Is it me you’re looking for?” (please don’t ask why it was in my head in the first place!). This is a fairly straight forward greeting and question to ask someone who seems to be trying to find someone or something. With the question is the underlying implication that the answer will hopefully be along the lines of, “Yes, you are the one I’ve been looking for!” As I was considering this, I began thinking about it not from the perspective of a love-sick teenager in the 80’s but rather from the perspective of the eternal God and Father of the universe.
A couple of thoughts came forward…
First, how many times has God declared His greeting to a creation that is desperately seeking Him, whether they realize it or not?
“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” Hebrews 1:1-2 (NASB95)
While there are myriads of instances in scripture that I believe we could point to where the Lord has introduced Himself to His creation, the most important and the one upon which the entire known history revolves around, is the introduction of His Son to the world. While Jesus introduced Himself to John the Baptist and His mother while yet in Mary’s womb (Luke 1:39-45), introduced Himself to the teachers in the temple at Jerusalem as a preteen (Luke 2:41-49), introduced Himself to the twelve disciples during His adult ministry (John 1:35-51), along with many other introductions, the one introduction that transcends time and still speaks to us personally today is when He introduced Himself to the world He created as the Lamb of God who was crucified for our redemption and eternally resurrected for our justification. To this end, the world would do well to respond, “Yes, we have been looking for You because you are the way to the Father.”
Secondly, how many times does God, in His mercy, reintroduce Himself to us and offer His assistance to those of us who have chosen to follow Him but often stubbornly find ourselves resorting to our own strength to carry the burdens of this world?
“”Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”” Matthew 11:28-30 (NASB95)
Why do we do it? Neglect the help that God offers us? Why do we sometimes have to relearn this principle that God Almighty wishes to advise us and guide us and empower us through this life? Just in these verses above, we can see the offer for God’s rest, the offer for learning personally from the Master Teacher, and an offer to exchange a yoke that is difficult and heavy for the Lord’s yoke which is easy and light. But the key is found in the first three verses, “Come to Me…” which is maybe the difficulty for us. Coming to the Lord for help requires humility. It requires us to admit that we need help in the first place, something that pride will not allow.
Finally, a thought about the future – what will this greeting be like in the New Heavens and New Earth?
I often find myself daydreaming of heaven, longing for the day when justice will replace injustice. When immortality will replace mortality. When incorruptible will replace corruptible. When the final enemy, death, will be swallowed up in victory. And the heavenly city that we are seeking will be opened up to us with wide gates. And our final home, the new heavens and the new earth will reign in glorious splendor because we are told that is where righteousness dwells. I can’t wait for that day when Christ returns and the dead in Christ are raised. Isaiah gives us a glimpse into what that day is going to look like:
“Your dead will live;
Their corpses will rise.
You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy,
For your dew is as the dew of the dawn,
And the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.” Isaiah 26:19 (NASB95)
I can imagine it…a fresh cool morning. The day breaks and the sun begins to rise brightly to shed its light upon the earth. There are a few whispy clouds but not enough to prevent the sun’s rays from warming the waking planet. Dew is glistening on the blades of grass; water is softly and sporadically dripping off of the leaves of the trees as the sun shines through their branches. Birds are sweetly singing the song of the redeemed as they announce a new day. And all of a sudden there is a mighty shout! The dust particles instantly obey the commanding voice and begin to reform into what they were originally contracted by God to be. Everywhere the redeemed of the Lord are gathered together from the dust of the ground as the earth appears to give birth on that fresh, dew-filled morning of hope. Suddenly, as flesh and spirit are reunited and an awakening of sorts happens, there are shouts that arise from these freshly reborn saints of old. Shouts of joy, shouts of victory, shouts of eternal glory to the King! In that moment, as we are brought face-to-face with our God and as He says “Hello” to us for the first time in our resurrected state, we will resolutely and emphatically cry with complete understanding and eyes wide open that, “Yes, You are the One we have been looking for!”
In conclusion, I’m not saying that Lionel Richie was a prophet, but when we consider the events in scripture where God has attempted to get our attention, we can almost hear the Lord saying, “Hello! Is it Me you’re looking for? I’m the One who paid the ultimate sacrifice for you, buying your redemption and offering you eternal life. I’m the One who desires to assist you in this life by carrying your burdens and shame for you. I’m the One who, someday soon, on the dawn of a new day, you are going to wake up to, to see face-to-face.”
Jesus says in the word:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20 (NASB95)
Won’t you reply to His call today? His call of salvation, His call of assistance, His call of hope in a future glory. It’ll be the best decision you ever make!
Oh, and by the way, since this is the first post from No Apologies for Apologetics, let me just say, “Hello, world!”