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What Kind of Wednesday? part 2

It was called “Wonderful Wednesday” and no classes were scheduled.

Instead, it was a day to catch up.

Great idea, right?

If only we had opportunities like this out here in the out-of-school world….

Get this: Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Christ Jesus said that.

He went on: Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

Now, THAT’s the start of a profoundly “Wonderful Wednesday” indeed, and the unforced rhythms of grace are available right now to everybody.

Including you and me.

 

Learning to Live with My “C” Word

There’s a “C” word I’ve been dealing with for a while now.

Trying to learn to live with it. Maybe you have been, too.

Sure brings a lotta changes with it.

It’s not a disease or an illness.

In fact, Scripture says it’s a good thing —

Godliness with contentment

is great gain.

 — 1st Timothy 6:6 

— For those of us who habitually spend time and effort on things like goal setting, planning, and moving forward, that C word, contentment, can be slippery to the point of elusive.

But elsewhere, St. Paul said he had learned to be content (Philippians 4:11). Seems that rather than being an innate gift, contentment was something he learned.

That gives me hope, how about you?

Lotta lessons still to be learned.

Especially the week of Thanksgiving.

And contentment this particular week of Thanksgiving, factoring in our current pandemic and its attendant restrictions and recommended changes to traditions? Yeah.

Whole lotta lessons still to be learned.

See That Sign?

God said, “I will be with you.
And this will be a sign to you.”

Exodus 3:12

Soon it’ll be Advent and then Christmas. Somewhere in there we’ll hear from Isaiah 7:14 about a sign from God.

Long before that, in Exodus 3:12, God promised another sign.

One which Christ Jesus echoed in Matthew 28:20.

Between now and Christmas, I invite you to especially be watching for a sign from God.

Especially relative to the divine promise “to be with you always.”

I’d love to hear from you about any of this; hit me up, any of the usual ways.

Today is A Day of Liminal Significance

LIMINAL: from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold.

Nationally, November 22, decades ago, the day JFK was shot was liminal.

LIMINAL: from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold; any point or place of entering or beginning.

Personally, November 22, a few years ago, the day we signed the papers to start buying our home was liminal.

LIMINAL: from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold; any point or place of entering or beginning. A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’

Globally, November 22, today, in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic era and looking forward to being post-pandemic is liminal.

LIMINAL: from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold; any point or place of entering or beginning. A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition.

Biblically, from Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God” was liminal.

LIMINAL: from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold; any point or place of entering or beginning. A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, waiting.

Biblically, from John 1:1-5, From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in—we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we’re telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us. We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!”

LIMINAL: from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold; any point or place of entering or beginning. A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, waiting, and not knowing.

What are you experiencing today as liminal?

As always, I’d love to hear from you via any of the usual ways, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Ignorance of God

I don’t know about you, but I do plenty of things to parade my ignorance, especially my ignorance of God.

Sure don’t wanna make a liar out of God.

Guessing you’re the same way. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God. (1st John 1:10, the Message version)

No, thank you.

I know who I am.

And I know who God is. The LORD is merciful, kind, patient, and God’s love never ends. (Psalm 103:8, Contemporary English Version)

Confession and 2 Letters

If we confess our sins,

God is faithful and just

to forgive us our sins

and to cleanse us

from all unrighteousness.

1st John 1:9, English Standard Version

Two letters.

I.

F.

How strong do we let them be?

At the beginning of this verse, they seem crucial: If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Because, if we don’t…?

Errant Nonsense

In my journey thus far, I spent some time with people who claimed to be completely, wholly, and totally done with sin.

I’ve also been able to be with people who taught me an ancient prayer. The long form goes, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on a me, a sinner.”

Other versions abbreviate it to seven words: “Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

In its most distilled form it becomes simply, “Mercy!”

Pretty good place to start.

Especially in light of 1st John 1:8, which in the Message version says—

If we claim that we’re free of sin,

we’re only fooling ourselves.

A claim like that is errant nonsense. 

What Kinda Wednesday? part 1

It was called “Wonderful Wednesday.”

No classes scheduled.

A day to catch up.

Great idea, right?

Get this: Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Christ Jesus said that.

He went on: Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

And maybe best of all, I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

All that’s from Matthew 11:28-30, The Message Version.

Completely Overflowing

“Most of our conflicts and difficulties come from trying to deal with the spiritual and practical aspects of our life separately instead of realizing them as parts of one whole.”

Evelyn Underhill is doing surgery with that sentence…soul surgery.

She continues, “If our practical life is centered on our own interests, we need not expect that our spiritual life will be a contrast to all this.”

If that’s not enough, she exposes a painful truth we’d rather ignore: “The soul’s house is built without soundproof partitions.”

 St. Paul reminds us of the source of our remedy: Our own completeness is now found in Christ. We are completely filled as Christ’s fullness overflows within us. (Colossians 2:10)

Serious Stuff: Are you wanting to get from here to there, from disintegration to Shalom?

What steps are we hesitating to take?

Let today be the day you begin.

As in, now.

It’s a Monday: Know the Truth

“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.”

— Flannery O’Connor