Thursday, June 27, 2019

"And So I Am"

Ezra 1.1b-3 NASU

“...the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying:

‘The Lord... has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel…’”

Disneyland has its own special language. Employees are dubbed “cast members” and their uniforms are “costumes.” When at work they’re either “on” or “off stage.” Engineers and creative talent are “imagineers.” Rides are “adventures” or “attractions,” and it’s an “audience,” not a crowd. Paying customers are “guests” and every little girl is a “princess.”

The system works. I too caught the excitement and began referring to my (then) five year old daughter as “princess.” She also became a believer. Rachel really was a princess along with Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Mulan, Pocahontas, and Jasmine.

As we exited the canoe ride on our last day in Disneyland, a cast member again addressed my girl as “princess.” She wondered out loud, “Daddy, how do they know I’m a princess?” I’ve always known Rachel was a princess. But, in that moment, I knew that she knew she was a princess. We really are what we believe we are.

Cyrus was a “cast member” in God’s star attraction… the “Rebuilding of the Holy Temple.” He called the Jews to “go up to Jerusalem… and rebuild the house of the Lord.” Many exiles refused to believe they were qualified. After seventy years of Babylonian captivity, they were married with children, settled in homes, and established in their pagan community. Most thought going back to Judah was a fool’s mission. But 42,360 believers would “go up to Jerusalem.” These faithful few joined “Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah” (Ezra 1.8) for the ride of their lives. They believed they were divinely chosen instruments in the hand of God, and so they were. These fully devoted YHWH followers knew they were specially called to “go up to Jerusalem” and fulfill His purpose. They were what they believed they were.

My little girl believes is a princess... and so she is. About 40,000 people believed they could rebuild Solomon’s Temple... so they did. I believe Jesus died for my sins and made me a son of God... and so I am. 

“But as many as received Him [Jesus], to them He gave the right to
become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
John 1.12 NAS

“If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your 
heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10.9 NIV
And so I am.

My daughter, Rachel, is now seventeen years old, but she is still my little princess. 

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