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Monday, January 01, 2007

The New Year, debauchery, and forbearance

Debauchery. The OED defines it as "vicious indulgence in sensual pleasures." I love the OEDonline. That was for free.

I had the privilege of staying up all night last night in and around the vicinity of The Sheraton Centre. I want to try to briefly describe the scene without sounding arrogantly above worldiness. Here's what I saw: thousands flocking away from Nathan Phillips Square into police-equiped streets, drunk men resisting detainment, people urinating in trash cans and on walls, two intoxicated friends dragging a comatose comrade through a hall, heavily stimulated women making shameful comments in crouded elevators (elevators that would later reek of vomit), angry men fighting in the parking lot, inebriated youth.

Looking over the city from my 25th floor window as the Sun rose, beaming light on the distant North York, all I could think of was mercy and forbearance and grace. God, who 2000 years ago came into a world that would not recoginze him (John 1:9-10), still bears with his contumacious creation.

Shocking enough is God's great patience and mercy. Spurgeon rightly points out the glorious speed of forgiveness. He says, "You can be forgiven all your sin in half the tick of a clock, and pass from death to life more swiftly than I can utter the words." If you have ever seen 24, you'll know that pretty much every season, the U.S. Government is required to grant immunity to some criminal in return for information on how to end the terrorism that they particpated in. For instance, Jack Bauer must live allow his wife's murderer to have immunity in order to find out who she is working for. In a later season, former president David Palmer is asked to grant immunity to a terrorist who had, in an earlier season, made an attempt at his life. We're all like, "oh wow, isn't David great?!" And he is. But how about Christ. Perfect almighty God died so that his rebelious creation could be redeemed and sinners could be pardoned of a lifetime of evil instanly by looking to his cross.

That is why I love the New Year.


Anonymous Nagoda said...

ergh... those poor folks. yeah i've never gotten what's so great about new years in this society... it's people acting more stupid than usual if you ask me... all i did was celebrate by pinky and the brain till 2 am... that was good.

btw, saturday was AWESOME with you! i hope i can come for the full time next year.

dude you truly are a true friend. thanks for everything.

and i'm still waiting for that blog add lol


2:15 PM  
Blogger Loco said...

nice finally meeting u. so now i'm off the stalker list i guess.

and i learned a new word today: contumacious. i wasn't even sure it was a real word until dictionary.com said it was. nice vocab. :D

8:26 PM  
Blogger Silas said...

man, what a stupid and counter-intuitive move for God to make. I try and understand it but it really blows my mind... But I'm thankful God did it...

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, from Russell, in China. Thought I'd take a look at the blog (linking from amac). Thought I'd comment here, though. The post and silas' comment kinda left me going "Hmm..."

Stupid and counter-intuitive? I assume you're being facetious. What would strike me as a stupid and counter-intuitive thing for God to do would be to create us all perfect, and perfectly happy, forever, to be in His presence, forever, never to fall. There'd be the benefit of no one's faults or shortcomings ever turning Josh's stomach - but we'd never know love. Our falling, and needing redemption, was always part of The Plan, since before the beginning.

When I see people engaged in activities that are empty, and have no purpose, I see people that God has a plan for - has always had a plan for, since before they were born. A plan that ends with them forever experiencing God's love, in His presence, forever - every moment aware that they are there, not because that's how they were created, but because they were redeemed to God through Christ; a love they will never be seperated from, by anything, just like God promises (a love He has for us, even while we are yet sinners).

For all the attendant pain, that's a reality I'd choose over perfection. Anyday. (Rom 5:1-5)

In the meantime, someone pass the spiritual Gravol...

(And pardon my nose - it sticks itself in where it will)

6:25 AM  
Blogger Son of Man said...

Nothing written in the post suggests that anyone was sick to their stomach. Nor is it stated that anyone should wish that God "created us all perfect." You're arguments are fair enough, but I don't think they have anything to do with what is written in this post or in its comments.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

Shocking enough is God's great patience and mercy.

You said it. And it's a shock I felt more keenly than ever on New Year's Eve as I was brought face to face with ghosts of my dead self.

It moves me in a way I can't even describe, that these people are slowly dying, refusing to even consider the gifts of a Father that loves them dearly.

WC was a blessing beyond what I expected it to be, and I'm so glad I got to spend some time with you, Josh! Blog-stalking just doesn't suffice these days, haha!

God bless you in the new term!

8:23 PM  
Blogger Chris Hillcoat said...

Josh, are you going to Scotland? If so, when?

11:20 AM  
Blogger Lydia said...

je manques tes "blogs".

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nagoda said...
ergh... those poor folks. yeah i've never gotten what's so great about new years in this society...

I'd like to respond and let "nagoda" know that New Years is a tradition older than northern america itelf. What so great about it? Well, it's greater than petty thanksgiving and halloween, i tell you that.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Nick Hill said...

Thanks for this beautiful post. Yes, I do not deserve God's forgiveness, but God's wrath, and instead Jesus died for me when I was God's enemy. This is amazing grace! God, please help me to respond appropriately with thanksgiving, daily repentance, faith, love, worship, and a life lived for your glory! Amen.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Justin Alm said...


10:28 PM  

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