What We Talk About In Homeroom
Homeroom is the first five minutes of the school day in which teachers are instructed to take attendance, relay announcements, and share a devotional. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to do the first two. In the past few weeks with my thirty-four 11th graders, I’ve shared with them my thoughts on beauty and truth, with an emphasis on Psalm 34:8. For my final time with them, this is what I shared.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve talked a lot about truth, some about beauty, and today, I’d like to focus on goodness.
When I was 16, due to a variety of circumstances in my life (details of which I will not go into this morning), I suffered with an intense depression. To the point where I was suicidal. I never talked about it with anyone – no one, even my family, knew I struggled. It’s fascinating how we as a people, whether we believe in God or not, turn to him in our deepest despair. And I turned to the Bible. Why I’m alive today is because of God’s goodness. In order to better grasp what I mean by that, we need to take a look at some theology. Don’t freak out. We’ll only look at four words: creation, fall, redemption, restoration. And two aspects of God’s character: God as holy, and God as merciful.
God created the world – perfect, peaceful, and productive without any pain. God created us in His own image. The Latin for that is imago Dei, which means that our very purpose, our chief end, what we most desire and what most satisfies our desires is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. That’s how we are created. That’s why we are created.
Then what happened? Sin entered our hearts, polluting our minds and perverting our souls. The very thing that was our purpose – to glorify God – is now inverted, we want to glorify ourselves. It is this very pride that causes us to dare rebel against the Creator of the universe, against how he prepared the world to be – why? So that we may do whatever seems right in our own eyes. That’s what pride is, right? Pride is the root of every sin. We lie because we think we’re above the law. Pride. We lust and steal because we think others and their things are ours to posses. Pride. We harbor malice towards others because it’s “all about us”. Pride. It is a treacherous treason that cannot be forgiven; moreover, it blinds us to any desires to be forgiven. This treason cannot be overlooked because God is holy. What is holiness? It means to be “set apart”. We fall short of the standard. We cannot even come close – our sin is a chasm. And we are damned.
But, wait. God is also good and merciful. In order for God to not be contradictory to his own character – to be both holy and merciful – the only way to redeem a prideful people is through blood – willing and holy blood – so that when we come before God the Judge, we have someone who justifies us, who vouches for my life, your life. This is where Christ and the cross come in. More than His death and resurrection, Christ lived the perfect life for us so that when we come before the throne of God, He sees Christ’s righteousness imputed to us – the chasm is bridged, we no longer fall short, we are not the damned. This, my friends, is the Gospel. In the Greek, “gospel” means “good news”. This. is. goodness.
And in sharing this goodness, we as Christians get to play a part. God uses our meager efforts, our poor, lisping, stammering tongues as a part of a restorative plan – chipping away our prideful stone hearts, and giving us hearts of flesh, and making proper the purpose of our existence.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. |Hebrews 4:15-16|
This is what saved me when I was contemplating suicide at 16, and it is what saves me now. The more I read the Bible, the more I study theology, the more I understand beauty, truth, and goodness…the more I am satisfied with life because my heart is aligned with the purpose of my creation – to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. O, taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. |Psalm 34:8|