[The Shepherd’s Echo is a previously published TheShepherdsPen]
Words enter into, and depart from the arena of our vocabulary all the time, many which describe, and succinctly capture the changes, or mood of our culture. One of the more recent entries, which lexicographers have officially welcomed into the annals of diction, is the utterance, “meh.” Meh is generally an interjection communicating indifference; lack of enthusiasm, or simply apathy, a verbal dismissal to the level of “whatever,” or “I don’t care.” One source communicates that meh is a “verbal shrug of the shoulders.”
So, how could a word of such seemingly token value make its way into the cache of such notable and powerful words as awesome, phenomenal, dynamic and the like? May I suggest that such was the movement of ambivalence in our culture, that it was pregnant with this need of expression, and thus, an all-encompassing, yet minimalistic term was birthed in the labor ward of words? Meh. M-E-H. Meh.
May I also suggest this blanket of apathy which covers our culture has, at times found purchase within the church as well? Concerns for the economy. Political apprehension. Criticism of the Church. Over-saturation of responsibilities. All of these can serve to stifle our enthusiasm; it can be daunting. But our hope, our joy, is in who we are in Christ.
Colossians 1:11b-14 says, “joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Paul has been praying over the Colossians, communicating that they, “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding”, and that they would evidence that knowledge in many ways; this action of continuous joyous thanks is one of them.
I believe he provides 3 reasons why we are not to be “mehing” Christians. One, as we are in Christ we resonate in the eternal blessings as an inheritance of our Father – all sorts of spiritual blessings. The community of faith looks expectantly toward the future abundance of blessings, but Ephesians 1 tells us we enjoy these in the here and now as well. Two, we have been relocated from the domain of darkness. From sin. From the clutches of Satan’s evil rule. Think about that. Our new address is definitely in the best neighborhood. Third, we are able to enjoy those blessings for one reason, and one reason only – we are in Christ. The blood of Christ covers us, and has taken away our sin; we have been redeemed.
The picture here of redemption is one of deliverance from slavery. We have been marched across the auction block of slavery and Christ has bid for our very souls. He is the highest bidder, and the currency by which He pays is his blood, the only acceptable currency.
Let it not be said that I think life is easy. I know life comes at us hard and fast, and the acid of culture weighs heavy. I know there are hurts, pain, worry, and fatigue as we navigate in a fallen world. I get that. My heart goes out for those hearts seeking to be faithful in the midst of the trial. I know that God uses that for His purposes, so I pray for strength. My heart aches for those who are in the mire of brokenness as well.
But, in the midst of that, can we still have joy? Not “happiness,” but true joy. My exhortation is that we can. In fact, the “the joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Paul says “we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10). Not “our bodies,” but our body – the corporate Body of Christ. May we evidence the Life of Jesus in our Body – the Church.
My prayer for those walking in meh, is that even today you would remember what you have the inheritance, where you are in the kingdom of Christ, and why those are both true–the blood of Christ, and that in remembering, you would be enveloped in joy, and give thanks.
As we are able to do that – we transcend meh!
Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone).
A Special Note:
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