The Gift of Simplicity

Unknown-4Smartphones, with all their flash, features, and advantages, have created dumb people. Yep, I’m one. It seems I have become so dependent on these devices to remember my details that I sometimes can’t even recall my parent’s home phone number. See what I mean? A smart phone attached to an increasingly dumbed-down man (and a technologically spoiled one at that).

Okay, so I’m being somewhat facetious. But here’s my point. Sometimes flash and image can actually take away something’s original attractiveness: its simplicity. What once was inviting because of its clear focus and simple clarity gets less appealing as it gets “upgraded.”

Christmas can get that way sometimes, can’t it? Truth is, life can get that way, eh?

Know what else can get that way? Our relationship with God and our worship of him! It did in Micah’s day, and this is what the final two chapters of the book are about: Simplicity, especially in worship. What should have been a focused response to the character and conduct of God became a complicated and corrupt performance. And it angered Jehovah! In fact, Micah 6:9-16 details the punishment that God brought because they persisted in their corrupt complexity. Their man-made “upgrades” actually become their #1 enemy!
When I read Micah 6, I think about all the “upgrades” that have actually contributed to the erroneous and complicated messages people get about Christianity. About salvation. About God. For instance, be good and you’ll get in. Get wet and you’ll get in. Get in and you’ll get rich.Think positive and you’ll get rich (in the name of Jesus, of course). Ad infinitum and ad nauseum.  All of it runs contrary and complicates the real message of the Gospel.

Fortunately, Micah writes a last chapter of hope as he closes out the book, and in this last stanza of his prophetic song we see Micah personifying simplicity in his third description of Jesus as our Shepherd. This final “refrain” found in Micah 7:7-20 centers again the Shepherding work of Jesus Christ as the only means by which we can escape our corrupt and convoluted idolatry. Yes, the only way out of our complicated mess is the simple salvation provided by Jesus. He simply saves all who repent and believe. Nothing more and nothing less than grace alone by faith alone in Christ alone.

Remember humility? Taking the escalator down! Remember security? Taking a look up! Here’s simplicity — It’s taking a trip to the cross. That’s where it all gets simple!

Merry CHRISTmas!

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