I think (for me) it all started a few years ago with "Downton Abbey". This week it was "The Crown". Our binge took in all ten episodes of the first season in less than three days. I am not sure which was the driving force - our need to crash or being absorbed into the drama. Or, perhaps it is some sort of British conspiracy!
This binge, though, may only be one in a flurry of many. First it was a binge of church services - four in 25 hours. Then came a 'family binge' - with 8 from out of state joining the 6 here for 6 days. And, speaking of flurries and binges, how would you describe first the snow, and then the cold that we have had so far this winter?
At least these seem to be binges that are on the healthy side of life (we need the cold and snow, right?). I can think of many others that could damage or destroy both health and relationships. Merriam-Webster defines a binge as "an unrestrained and often excessive indulgence". Illustrations include eating, drinking and buying.
So, the question arose in my mind, "Is 'binging' a godly activity?" And, for that matter, what about indulging? My research took me to Ephesians, and the results were somewhat surprising.
We have a God who, in Christ Jesus, behaves with "unrestrained and often excessive indulgence!" "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ." (Ephesians 1.3) "He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One." (Ephesians 1.5-6) "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding." (Ephesians 1.7-8) "that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God's love, and to know Christ's love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3.17-19)
Our God binges in Christ Jesus. He is indulgent, ... and excessive, ... but - and here is where the difference is made - there is not a selfish bone in his body ... He does it all FOR US! How are Jesus' actions described? "For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame." (Hebrews 12.2) And what was that joy? The opportunity for us to spend eternity with him in heaven. We live in an unending binge of blessings from our indulgent God.
But what truly sets him apart is his heart. He does it all out of love for you and me. What also sets him apart is his wisdom. He always knows what is best for you and me. What sets him apart is his strength ... for nothing "will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8.39)
Thus we are free to enjoy life ... even to go on a binge here and there ... especially when done with the heart and wisdom of Christ. Or, as Paul puts it "But as for you, brothers and sisters, do not grow weary in doing good." (2 Thessalonians 3.13)
I wonder what will take place in season two? And then there is another series, "AD: Kingdom and Empire" that I must check out ... God save the queen ... and Lord, in your love, wisdom, and strength, have mercy on me.