Saturday, April 23, 2016

Purple Reign

Thursday I was sick at home with a cold, watching the news coverage about the death of Prince. Lots of people were relating how they knew Prince and what he was like. Lots of theories about how he died. Lots of unanswered questions. I have a few questions of my own.

For example, how can one news station generate so much content from a single news story!?! Amazing, and pitiful, at the same time. Music videos of Purple Rain, 1999 and Little Red Corvette cycled over and over again. Once or twice was okay but, over and over and over again.

There were all kinds of people being interviewed. Someone KNEW Prince, someone SAW Prince at Walgreen's. "He was really a very quiet man." said one woman outside his estate in Minnesota. But no one asked the question I really wanted the answer to.

Was Prince a Christian?

As Christians, death no longer has any meaning to us. But it matters to people who live in a world that does not know Christ. That's because death for the non-believer is truly a death without hope or a future. Like a blade of grass that withers in the fall and is gone.

"For, "All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall" - 1 Peter 1:24

Instead, we need to think about the "apparent death" a caterpillar goes through as he spins a cocoon and is gone, but then, miraculously, emerges, transformed and more beautiful than ever before.

Prince was a tremendous talent. He did many good things for people in this world. He will be missed by many. But is he in heaven right now, rocking with Hendrix, Morrison and Cobain? Here is a quote from Prince I saw yesterday on Facebook that made me wonder.

"I think when one discovers himself, he discovers God." - Prince

Is that right? It that statement true? No, it is not. In fact, the opposite is true for the Christian.

"When we discover God, we discover ourselves."

Was Prince a Christian? I have no way of knowing. Only God knows, but I find myself wondering . . . and hoping. After all, God wishes that none should perish.

"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." - 2 Peter 3:9

Shortly before Jesus was crucified the Roman soldiers placed a purple robe on Jesus, mocking Him as "King of the Jews." The irony was that Jesus truly WAS a King.

"19 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” - John 19:1-5

God's love transcends death. It is through God's love, grace and mercy that we have any life at all. May God's love rain down on this world, a "purple rain" if you will, and may we embrace it, live it and share it with others wherever we go. May we leave no doubt behind about OUR faith and who we belong to. May God use you and me as examples of His love to a dying world. Then, let it rain.

"5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." - Romans 6:5-10

Let It Rain - Jesus Culture

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