Friday, March 11, 2011

Lent Continued: Royalty Check? or (Royalty) check...?

Long ago in many ways and at many times God's prophets spoke his message to our ancestors. But now at last, God sent his Son to bring his message to us. God created the universe by his Son, and everything will someday belong to the Son. God's Son has all the brightness of God's own glory and is like him in every way. By his own mighty word, he holds the universe together. (Hebrews 1:1-3)

The key text, in the NIV, reads like this: The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being...

Today - Friday - launched in absolute splendor! Scout and I set out on our walk - just before 7:00 - in clear air, perfect sunshine and 45 degrees. What a contrast to yesterday's rain-fest. But both beautiful and refreshing in their own way.

Here we are, just getting into the first few days of Lent, and I already find myself challenged in a fundamental way. God, working through my interest in language and my restless imagination, taught me something so basic that it pretty much stopped me cold in my tracks.

I'm talking about the juxtaposition of today's scripture and my personal addiction to the consumer-culture values I constantly urge others to re-think. Yeah, that's right, "Busted"!

Here's what happened: Yesterday afternoon I went to the mailbox and found a letter from my publisher, containing my royalty check for 2010. Excited, I tore open the envelope and looked for the magic number that would tell me how "successful" I am as an author.

I wasn't expecting a lot, because I've done the math over the years and figured out that I make somewhere well south of 70 cents for every book sold. But I had formulated a number in my mind that I had determined would represent "validation", and serve to encourage me to move forward with the next new manuscript, a growing idea that's working it's way into my plans for later this year.

Believe me when I say I wasn't even remotely prepared for the shockingly low $ amount written in cold, stark 12-point Arial font under the line "2010 Royalty."

Then, this morning, still reeling a little, I read this passage about Jesus: "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being..." God's Son has all the brightness of God's own glory.  

It was a glorious affirmation of the royalty of Jesus. And it is, for me, a (R)royalty check.
  • Check; who is the royalty in my life? Jesus. 
  • Check; who validates my ministry? Jesus. 
  • Check; where do my foundational allegiances rest? God... Jesus....?
My Royalty Check, it turns out, was/is a royalty check.

Err, "Thanks, God...." I think.

No comments: