Veritas: Some further thoughts on zero.

Greetings friends!

Last night we had the first Veritas of the school year. I love love love love love love love love (get it yet) love love Veritas! It's a lot of fun and energy and excitement and joy, and this year it seemed to have been bubbling up all summer into a night of just sheer worship and excitement.

We kicked off our theme of Veritas:Zero with some introduction into where we're headed in the next few months. For those who weren't there last night, a quick catch up:

In Malawi, our sister church in the town of Zomba has acquired the nickname Zomba Zero. It it thusly named because it was the first thing that was ever built in the town, and everything else in Zomba gets it's identity from the church at zero. Nothing happens outside the relationship it has from the church. Everything is tied to that one thing.

And so we asked last night what our Zero is. What is the one thing in your life that makes all the other parts of your life make sense? Obviously there is a bit of a Sunday School answer that goes with this (JESUS!) (said in an incredibly cheesy voice), but last night we noted that we want to get to the heart of the answer now. The real answer, rather than what you would think the youth pastor wants to hear. What is your zero?

We talked about David, who in Psalm 139:23 said "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts." This is a crazy bold statement to make to God. Because before I open up my heart to God, before I allow him to see the messed-up-crazy bits of my life, I'm going to do my best to clean up. I'm going to try to get things in order, sweep up a bit, and try my very best to make it look like I have everything all together.

Of course this is a sham. God knows everything already. We learn in the same Psalm that he knows when we stand up and when we lie down, and how many hairs are on our head, and that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. The truth is there's no detail about our lives that isn't abundantly clear to God.

But I think there's something special in the openness of asking God to search our hearts. I think there's something about knowing that we're holding nothing back, that we're letting God search us freely, and that we may or may not like what he finds.

Because the truth is, when we invite God to search our hearts, he's going to show us exactly what our current zero is. He'll show us exactly the area in our lives from which all the other areas get their meaning. And he's God, so he's not going to be shy about it. If we're open, honest, and ready to do a little introspection, God's going to point out exactly what it is that keeps us from him.

And at the same time, this God that knows everything, sees us at our very very worst, offers us the forgiveness to move forward and the grace to hit the reset button on our zero. This God somehow is both the judge and the jury, but he's also the healer. And so as scary as it might be to open up our hearts and allow God to see what's going on inside, it is required. And thank God for the grace that awaits us on the other side.

MUCH more to come soon!