Short and simple

IMG_8934I couldn’t help but obey two of the playground rules when I saw these signs at Mandala House (the posh hangout of ‘azungu’ in Blantyre). First I smiled and then I laughed.

How wonderful that someone has set out such a simple and positive set of rules to help the children enjoy themselves in the playground.

I don’t know about you but I have this terrible habit of getting carried away and making things way too complicated. I hate to think how many more signs I might have added to the tree.

Some folk seem to think that the Christian faith is all about a God who sets out a long list of do’s – and mostly don’ts – for the playground of life. Rules we need to get perfect if we are ever to be right with Him. They couldn’t be more wrong.

First, God wrote the manual on leadership communication and in particular to “Keep It Short and Simple” (Kiss). Hence Jesus’ wonderful summary of the whole of God’s revealed truth into the profoundly simple statements: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” and Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matt 22:36-40)

And second, like any good parent at that playground, God does not even expect us to get those simple playground rules right before He loves us. His love is unconditional and His redemption of us from sin precedes any sign of righteousness from us! “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

What wonderful Good News – even if it is “foolishness” to the world (1 Cor 1:18) – that like any child in that playground who is blessed with a loving parent, our confidence and future happiness does not rest in keeping even the shortest set of rules. Instead it rests securely in our relationship with our heavenly Father, and our desire as genuine children of God to follow His example as we journey through life.

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