For it is by grace you have been saved...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Seeking A Sign

By now you may have heard the story out of Bakersfield, California about a woman who was making salsa in her blender when some splashed out onto her wall and dripped into an image of the Virgin Mary. I’m not making this up, though I wish I were.

Of course, it’s not just that this salsa stain supposedly looks like Mary, it’s the “message” we are to receive. According to the stain maker, it’s supposed to be a sign that "people need to start being good toward one another." (Oh, and her house smells like roses now too, whatever that's supposed to mean).

Now, I’m all for being kind to one another. But why do we need divine dip-art to tell us that? Scripture has clearly revealed the truth that we are love one another. And Scripture is sufficient. Not that we always listen to the Word of God as given to us; but there is no need for another source to add to that Word.

I’m reminded of a story Jesus shared in which a certain man was begging from the pit of hell for God to send someone back from the dead to warn his family of their pending doom. God’s response: “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.” In fact, God goes on to say (speaking through Abraham, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” (read Luke 16:19-31)

So why this constant search for signs. Why do we need visions of the Virgin Mary in salsa, or grilled cheese, or pancakes, or any of the other places she’s been reported to have shown up. Why do we think salsa speaks louder than Scripture? (Never mind the BIG question: how does a salsa stain mean we’re supposed to be nice to each other to begin with? I must need to buy a copy of the “Message in Your Meal Handbook.”)

The problem is really this. The enemy loves this sort of thing. On the one hand, for those who buy into it, he is able to lead them along with these ridiculous pseudo-spiritual, superstitious “signs” and keep them from seeking the greater truth of God in Christ as revealed in the Word. And on the other hand, this just gives folks another reason to laugh at “those Christians;” keeping them from any desire to seek Christ as well. (You should have heard all the snickering and mocking comments coming from our local news team as they reported the story). The enemy wins on both sides.

God has spoken: In various ways and at various times and finally through His Son (Hebrews 1). And it’s all recorded in His Divine Book. We need to preach that Word He has given. It is the power of the Word that will change hearts, thus leading to us “being kind” to one another. Here's all the "sign" you need: Jesus came, died as a substitutionary sacrifice for sin, and rose again to defeat death and hell forever.

So a little advice. Next time you make a mess in your kitchen, just get a wet rag, clean it up, eat your salsa, and then go READ YOUR BIBLE.

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