Bob Dylan had it right in one of his most profound songs, when he wrote: “You gonna have to serve somebody.”
Whether we like it or not, we can’t escape death, taxes or serving somebody – maybe ourselves, perhaps fame and fortune, the devil or maybe our Creator.
Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew, “You cannot serve two masters.” Crucial in that message is the concept that everybody will serve one master.
As Jesus goes on to explain, none of us will be able to serve two masters because either we “will hate the one and love the other,” or we “will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”
Most people love beauty but many don’t know why.
The great global disease that is eating at our public life and our personal lives, in a corrosive way, is the lack of any credible or lasting source of authority. For many people, there is nothing and no one to appeal to. No one to trust. No one worthwhile to serve.
It is very clear to me that the source of authority is the Bible, not in the simply biblicist proof-texting sense but because of the inherent story of purpose. The Bible tells me that God’s creation is good and that we can have a meaningful role in it if we choose to.
I am embedded in the Bible story.
I have a biblically inspired reason why I appreciate beauty. Most people love beauty but many don’t know why. The biblical story of “the fall” gives me an understanding of why humans can show great compassion and also huge malevolence and cruelty. The powerful appeal for repentance is a call for transparency; a recognition that God sees all and yet loves us anyway.
The biblical witness to redemption and restoration of brokenness give me a reason for why I live and why I have a sense of purpose and mission. Without the word of God, I wouldn’t have any source of authority or legitimacy. I am embedded in the Bible story.
One verse that motives me greatly is Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
It doesn’t matter what postcode or nation we live in, what school we went to, how financially secure we are or what tribe or religion we belong to. We have all sinned. None of us is superior. We all need redemption. We are all brothers and sisters.
That’s a realistic perspective that is profound and healing.