Life has a way of becoming drab and monotonous. Marriage, family, church, career, and all aspects of our lives can, and at times, lose their luster and appeal to motivate us. Once, couples who declared to love, honor and maybe, obey, now see little reason to say good morning. There was the time some of us rose two hours early for work, thrilled with good work ethics; now our mindset is “if it’s raining outside tomorrow morning, I’m not even going to turn over in bed.” Old fogginess begins early, by age 25.
There was a time when we were glad to go to the House of the Lord to “have our feet stand within the gates of Jerusalem.” Now the choir loft may seldom be filled and the pews as well. Some parishioners seemingly have lost their joy, feeling empty, cold and indifferent. Many have tired lines on their faces instead of smile lines.
The church has even lost its appeal for some and they have become “jaded.” ( fatigued, worn-out, cynical, pretentiously callous and/or possessing a bored upper class attitude) We pick at the preacher and each other with the skill of a surgeon. We are of all people most miserable on the greatest adventure given by Father God and Christ Jesus. We are sick and tired of this adventure called LIFE. As the song goes, “the thrill is gone.”
Dr. Paul Tournier, the world famous Christian Psychiatrist, believes that peculiar to man is the “great impulse toward adventure.” He says, “the adventure is indigenous to man’s search for God, and hence the search for himself or herself.” In his book, The Adventure of Life, Dr. Tournier shows how every adventure follows the same pattern and can be described by the same curve.
First, there is the rapid ascent, the explosive, spontaneous, and contagious joy of discovering that which is new and different. Then, as man seeks to organize, set rules and regulations to govern the new adventure, to bring some standardization and normalcy to the new discovery, the adventure dies, says Dr. Tournier. “There is the rapid decline just as rapid as the initial ascent.” According to Tournier, the psychiatrist, this is the way all adventures go.
However, there is one adventure that defies Dr. Tournier’s pattern and that is the adventure of the soul’s transformation at the cross of Jesus Christ. When we make our journey to the cross, towering over the sands of time, there to be crucified with Christ , to feel the deepening wounds in His side, hands and feet, to feel the thorns crush into His brow and to know that we are alive because Jesus died for us to live. We rejoice forevermore. For as Paul declared for himself and all mankind—“I am crucified with Christ Jesus: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”(Galations 2:20)KJV
“The Green Altar” is Jesus’ Altar on which His Precious Blood was shed to make an atonement for our souls: for it is the Blood of Jesus yielded up on the cross of Calvary that maketh an atonement for the soul.” (Leviticus 17:11) KJV
This is the great mystery of the cross of Jesus Christ; the cross transforms into the mystery of The Green Altar of Life– the span of life to be lived after being saved, after divorce, death of spouse, parents gone, children living on their own, friends having fallen in the ranks, and we live alone and are sometimes so lonely. It is then and at such times, we need to approach The Green Altar of The Lord Jesus Christ.
The Green Altar evokes thoughts of a new mindset of qualities of youthfulness, of that which is fresh and unspoiled, of hope, adventure, renewal and zest for living, new beginnings, new learnings, new people, new places, travel and the continual dying of the old self and the embracing of a new self in Christ Jesus.
Oh. Yes! The Green Altar is taking Jesus at His Word: “I have come that you (put your name here) might have life, that you might have it more abundantly.”(John 10:10) Live, Love, and Laugh it up with Jesus all the way back home. Amen. (Oh,Yes!)