Two engineering behemoths engaged in some tit for tat this week. The two heavyweights were the Pope and the Pompous. In a rare exchange with an American politician, the Pope expressed his displeasure with Saint Pompous—Donald Trump.
Pope Francis said: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.” I think the Pope meant Trump was not acting in a “Christian” way.
Donald, however, is never one to duck an issue, and he made one out of this when he complained the Pope said he was not “a Christian.”
While I’m not a Catholic, I do know that every Pope has been a priest, but only a handful of priests have ever been the Pope. When the Pope spoke of “building bridges” he defined the meaning of the word priest. In Latin “priest” means “bridge builder,” and several places in the New Testament focus on the work of priests:
- Hebrews 4 speaks of the bridge building work of Jesus, and describes Him as a High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses because He was tempted like we are; yet He remained pure.
- I Peter 2:9 speaks of Christians as a “chosen people, set aside to be a royal order of priests, a holy nation, God’s own; so that you may proclaim the wondrous acts of the One who called you out of inky darkness into shimmering light.”
When I was a kid, I would use either my Lincoln Logs, or erector set to build something. Today, a child is more likely to dump his Legos on the floor and begin piecing them together.
Paul didn’t have Lincoln Logs or Legos, but he did know how to build bridges; and he spoke of this when he wrote to Christians at Corinth:
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Ambassadors for Christ share the story of salvation, and they build bridges of grace for God’s glory. Which story are you telling and what bridge are you building?
I want to do two things with this blog today. First, I want to share Lamentations 3:22-26 with you—it’s a favorite of mine: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
Second, I want to express my long-overdue gratitude to the Navigators. While I was in the Air Force and was stationed in Colorado Springs, I came to know Christ. Shortly after that, I was befriended by a “nav,” and was invited out to the Navigators headquarters in Glen Eyrie in 1972.
I was gobsmacked to learn how much Scripture my friend had memorized. There were several shoe boxes full of hundreds of cards with Scripture printed on them, and he had committed them to memory.
By the way, there was a third thing I wanted to do today—I wanted to use “gobsmacked” in a sentence. Gobsmacked means “astounded.”
I was more than just astounded by the spiritual discipline of the people I met at the Navigators—I was also challenged to begin memorizing Scripture, and I’m thankful for this because it changed my life (Psalm 119:9-11).
One of the first verses I committed to memory was the passage from Lamentations, and there is some gobsmacking and astounding truth in these words from the prophet Jeremiah:
• God’s love is steadfast and it never ceases
• His mercies are endless, they never go stale, and they are renewed every morning
• God’s faithfulness is great
• Because God’s resources are enough to meet my needs I can hope in Him
• When you wait on God and seek Him, you will experience His goodness and His salvation
If you will claim the truth of this Scripture, you might just have a gobsmacking day today.