Have you noticed the “shorthand” way people are using the word “because” now? Somehow, for me, it just works. I don’t know where it started but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was on Twitter. Here are several examples from Twitter:
- I'm just really excited for February 15th because chocolate. — Becca D, @becky_boo32
- And I think all children should be required to wear footie pj's because adorable. — Kat Lee, @inspired2action
- just had a mental breakdown because physics. — Rachel Miller, @rachieemiller
- My law professor is making us watch movies about football. Because the South. — corso, @Whyofcorso
You read those, and you just get it. With two words. Because ________.
I thought of this new usage of the word “because” as I listened to a series of sermons our pastor, Brad Smith, gave recently. He called his sermon series “Why Church?” Each sermon took a part of our church’s mission statement, or tag line, as a central theme to answer that question. Our mission statement is “God’s grace renewing a people to worship, community and mission.” As I listened, I thought we could summarize the series this way:
Why church? Because God.
Why church? Because worship.
Why church? Because community.
Why church? Because mission.
Each time Pastor Brad read the theme passage for this series, I was distracted into thinking about Peter. I don’t know if it’s somehow incorrect to have a favorite disciple, but I do, and Peter is my fave. He’s such a contradiction. He gets things so right sometimes, then so wrong. Over and over again: Peter gets out of the boat to walk on the water full of confidence and faith ... then loses it; Peter falls asleep with the other disciples while Jesus is praying in Gethsemane; Peter says he'll never, ever deny Christ, and then he does ... three times! Those are only a few examples.
The theme passage for Brad’s “Why Worship?” series was Matthew 16:13-28. Here again is another example, this time within just a few sentences, where Peter gets it so right — “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (v. 16) — and Jesus tells Peter he is blessed and will be the foundation of the church (v. 17-19). Yet, in the same passage, Peter gets it wrong again and vehemently cries, “Never!” (v. 22) when Jesus talks about his upcoming death. And now Jesus calls Peter Satan and says he is a stumbling block (v. 23).
Peter’s so human. He says and does things that I can absolutely imagine I would say and do in the same circumstances. Although I get things right sometimes, I seem to mess up more. I say the wrong thing. I do the wrong thing. I make situations worse. I fail to help. It’s a relief and a comfort to know that it’s okay. Jesus still loves me, and he will still use me for his intended purpose. Because Peter.