Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Keeping a Sabbath

We haven't done real well with the Sabbath, have we?  I mean we as a society, as a church.  On Sundays we try to avoid working a shift of a paying job if we can, but then we come home from church (where we've often volunteered and shouldered the load) and do housework and catch up on email (even work-related email), etc.

On the other hand we have generally set aside our Sundays, at least the church-going population has, and it's really rare that we'll accidentally schedule something that conflicts with Sunday morning.  We do occasionally miss because we're out of town or something, but generally we regard Sunday mornings as no longer ours.  Lost to the Lord's worship, if you will, or left on the altar as a sacrifice.  It wasn't ours to begin with, and many of us grew up with no Sunday mornings of our own.

The nation of Israel forgot its Sabbath.  Kept growing crops right on through the years when the land should have lain fallow.  The exile to Babylon was part of that story--try growing crops when you're a slave in a foreign land!

Have I kept the Sabbath holy?  Since I don't interpret this to literally mean 24 hours between sundown and sundown, there are two parts to the question: 1) Have I kept a rest time set apart in accord with what the Lord has declared for me.  For my good. and 2) Have I kept a time set apart for the Lord's worship.  To honor him.  Not to be double booked or receive low priority.

Shalom Shabbath.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Driving the Truck

There are truck drivers, designers, mechanics, schematic drafters, aficionados, etc.  All valid.  All part of the truck experience.  At this church, we drive the truck.

  • From time to time you may find us talking about prayer or studying prayer.  Mostly we just get in and pray.  
  • From time to time you may find us talking about fasting or studying fasting.  Mostly we just get in and fast.  
  • From time to time you may find us talking about worship or studying worship.  Mostly we just get in and worship.  
  • From time to time you may find us talking about evangelistic methods or studying evangelism. Mostly we just go out and share Christ.

Hop in and buckle up.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Submission Means No Lone-Rangering

Eph 5
What is my relationship with Christ?  I ask him, "Lord, I'd like to do this."  or "Lord, what do you think about this?"  I try not to move out ahead of his leadership.  If he says stop, I stop.  He is the head of me.  He is not the director of my every move.  He isn't my puppeteer.  But when he says stop, I stop immediately.  He doesn't have 51% of the company and my vote basically doesn't count.  And yet I willingly submit to him.  It's NOT 50-50 between him and me.  Sometimes he says something that doesn't make total sense to me, and I can say "I don't fully agree with that, but I trust that you have the right and best idea.  I trust YOU."

What is my relationship with my Pastor?  If he says jump, do I jump?  It's not like that.  And yet when he gives counsel, it would take MUCH weight on the other hand for me to disregard--I wouldn't disregard, try go against--his wisdom.  And that's not because I think he's such a wise guy, either, though he may be very wise indeed.  Because he is my pastor I am submitted to him.  I am interdependent, rather than independent, within the context of church. 

Having my wife submitted to me means that she never does lone ranger stuff.  It doesn't mean that I have 51% of the decisions or "veto power" over her.  When I am submitted to the Church or to Christ it means I am not lone rangering.  If I love my wife (and I do!) then I won't be out there making decisions without my teammate, and if she's submitted to me it will look similar on her part.  Submission is good when it's done right, but it's a topic that's easily twisted into evil.