Beekeeping at a baseball game and Kentucky Derby hats on Star Wars Day

Beekeeping at a baseball game and Kentucky Derby hats on Star Wars Day May 3, 2024

How can you find meaning in life?

Have you considered beekeeping?

Unless you live in Phoenix, Arizona, and have needed pest control, you likely had not heard of Matt Hilton before last Tuesday. That was when a swarm of bees along the netting behind home plate delayed the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Matt got the call and came to the rescue, vacuuming the bees into a container and transporting them safely off-site.

The stadium played “Holding Out for a Hero” while he worked and fans chanted “MVP” when he was done.

Here’s another option: you could make hats for the Kentucky Derby.

From its inception, the oldest continuous sporting event in America was intended to provide a spectacle both on the track and among the spectators. As jockeys and horses prepare for the Kentucky Derby’s 150th running tomorrow, hat makers have been preparing spectacularly colorful designs for women in the stands.

Here’s yet a third approach: you could join fans the world over who will take part in Star Wars Day tomorrow. The date is special to them because it is May 4. Consequently, they can recite the litany, “May the fourth be with you.”

Leo Tolstoy’s advice seems ironically appropriate in this context:

“The meaning of life is to serve the force that sent you into the world.”

How can Christians experience such meaning?

Why 40 percent of Texas churches left their denomination

This week we’ve been focusing on foundational cultural issues in light of the fact that Jesus is “the light of men” whose “light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4–5).

One way we can continue Jesus’ ministry as the “body of Christ” in the world today (1 Corinthians 12:27) is to focus our light where the room is darkest. Our Lord came to “those dwelling in the region and shadow of death” (Matthew 4:16). You and I dwell in such a “region” in ways that are unprecedented in American history.

For example, another denomination—this time the United Methodist Church—has rejected biblical sexuality by embracing LGBTQ ideology. In anticipation of this decision, churches who affirm biblical morality have been leaving in droves. More than 40 percent of Methodist churches in Texas have abandoned the denomination, for instance.

I could go on, with campus demonstrations, the Middle East conflict, AI– and climate-related fears, and economic anxiety all dominating this morning’s headlines. The fact that bad news is not surprising is itself unsurprising.

A Wall Street Journal article recounts our recent history: “The 9/11 attacks, costly wars in the Middle East, the loss of more than five million manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2010, the financial collapse and the Great Recession, intensified racial strife, the pandemic and various polarizing responses to it.”

Consequently, “As mishaps multiplied, Americans became divided to an extent not seen in generations. Because the sides were closely divided numerically, neither party could gain a lasting governing majority. As gridlock continued, America’s confidence in its capacity for self-government plunged.”

“A force of immeasurable range”

You and I are not to be cultural warriors but cultural missionaries. God has called both to where we are and to when we are. If he could not use us at this pivotal moment in American history, we would not be alive at this pivotal moment in American history.

How can we make a difference that matters?

When the book of Acts opens, a small group of believers is gathered in Jerusalem; when it closes, they have penetrated Rome itself, “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance” (Acts 28:31). The Scottish biblical scholar James Stewart contrasted their witness with ours:

It is a tragedy that the Christian religion is in many minds identified merely with pious ethical behavior and vague theistic beliefs, suffused with aesthetic emotionalism and a mild glow of humanitarian benevolence. This is not the faith which first awakened the world like a thousand trumpets and made people feel it bliss in such a dawn to be alive. Men knew what Christianity really was—the entrance into history of a force of immeasurable range.

Early Christians were empowered by the Holy Spirit to be Jesus’ witnesses (Acts 1:8), but they were also empowered by the Holy Spirit when they acted as his witnesses (cf. Acts 4:8).

Like them, we find meaning by sharing meaning. We experience the light by sharing the light. When we strive to imitate Jesus with our works and to share him with our words, the Spirit leads us where we can best impact others (cf. Acts 8:29) and speaks through us to convict sinners (Acts 2:37) and save souls (v. 41).

Hear Tolstoy again:

“The meaning of life is to serve the force that sent you into the world.”

Will you experience such meaning today?

Friday news to know:

Quote for the day:

“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” —John Piper

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