In recent weeks, while reading the Psalms, I came across two that were very similar in nature, Psalm 142 and 143. It spoke to me as I was thinking about our community, and I wanted to offer you instructions on some guided reading of the Bible.
A single day in Your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else!
It has always been the priority of God's people to meet together in order to worship God. But over the past 12 to 18 months the pandemic has created a downward spiral in Church attendance — and that's a great concern for me and you. When the regular routine for attending worship is broken, you often find a slow drifting from spiritual practices; we may become negligent in prayer, studying God’s Word, and shrugging off worship or practicing stewardship.
In Romans 12, Paul instructs the Christian believer, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them!” and then he goes on to describe what love looks like. It looks a lot like kindness to others!
I believe the Church needs to talk a lot more about kindness!
For years, my Mom collected a bunch of clippings and pictures along with odds and ends that ended up on the front of her refrigerator. It seems to be the thing we do, creating the “Kitchen Collage” as an art project!
Do you have that in your home?
“He arose from the dead...!”
It’s part of the creed which expresses what we believe. We believe in the preposterous!
And just as amazing is the miracle that happens within us: We too arise from the dead! And I’m not talking about that time when our bodies breathe their last breath. Christ brings new life into our dead spirits when we join Him at the cross.
I had so many thoughts and feelings to ponder after first viewing the movie The Passion of the Christ. It was such a vivid and dramatic portrayal of the real events, most all agreed.
What struck me was how our imaginations can’t possibly understand the realities of our Savior’s trial, suffering, and death. There are times when our insight needs help! And the story through visual form serves as a strong instrument for the Church.
Tears and sighing.
“When will this end?”
How will you pray when your heart is broken and you’re unsure of hope?
Let me introduce you to the Lament. To lament is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow. Let that roll over your mind awhile.
Russell Moore shares a story of dropping into a lo- cal bookstore and overhearing a man talk about why he hated Christmas music. Moore wrote:
This guy started by lampooning one pop singer’s Christmas album, and I found myself smiling in agreement on how awful it is. But then he went on to say that he hated Christmas music across the board. That’s when I started to feel as though I might be in the presence of the Grinch. But then this man explained why he found the music so bad ... It was boring. “Christmas is boring because there’s no narrative tension,” he said. “It’s like reading a book with no conflict.”
No conflict. Every good story has conflict!
It crept up on me.
No, not Advent. Or Christmas.
How many of you have done some groaning in recent months? Did you know the Bible tells us something about groaning? In Romans, chapter 8 we are reminded that creation is not what it is supposed to be; creation has suffered from the curse of humankind’s sin. And in a real sense, creation “groans” in all kinds of ways for healing.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.