"You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.’"
– Revelation 3:17 (NIV)
– Revelation 3:17 (NIV)
I'm not a big fan of inane movies, but Ernest movies are definitely worth the time. Jim Varney is a veritable genius in his field. And his best role, in my opinion, was in Ernest Saves Christmas.
It's a comedy that tugs at something dangling from the heart. You see, deep down, each of us wants to find something meaningful to do with the brief time we have on this planet. Trouble is, there are many things that claim to be meaningful but turn out to be...well, let's just fast-forward to what I'm talking about...
It's what writers call an "HCM"---a "Heart-Clutching Moment." Santa Claus himself (well, we haven't decided yet whether he's the real Saint Nick) is running out of time to recruit his replacement before Christmas Eve. And now, he's standing on the doorstep of the most caring, personable, eligible candidate in the world---Joe Carruthers---trying to talk him into taking the job. Not surprisingly, Joe's suspicious that this sweet old fellow may be off his rocking horse.
Santa's brought the one thing that should convince Joe---his magic toy sack. Or, at least it looks like it. But, things haven't gone exactly per plan today, and it turns out someone's pinched the real sack and left Santa with a facsimile stuffed with feathers.
"Look," says Joe, "I have an appointment to keep...with people who want to give me more than just...you know...feathers."
"Joe, search your heart. There must be something that can convince you of the truth."
"In a way, I wish there was. But I haven't seen it yet."
God is at work reconciling the World to Himself. And to that end, says the Apostle Paul, He has made us His ambassadors of reconciliation.
How often we stand at the door of some unfortunate person, who so needs a shot in the arm of hope, who is so ready for a personal encounter with the God of all hope. And then...we invite that person to reach into our magic "God sack", and out comes...a fistful of feathers.
Why? Because we started the day, like so many other days, thinking we had God in the sack. Didn't even need to check---no time for that. Truth is, we left God behind waiting for us to connect with Him for the day. Instead, the enemy filled our sack with a lot of feathers. You know what those feathers are---things that take up the space where God should have been. Make the sack look all round and jolly on the outside, but tragically useless when it comes time to impact the world.
Sometimes, it's been so long since we opened the sack and let God in that...well...we don't even know the difference. "What do you mean, saying my sack is full of feathers? Just goes to show how far gone you are! Can't tell the Living God from a fistful of goose down. There must be something that can convince you of the truth."
"In a way, Christian, I wish there was. But I haven't seen it yet."