Never Forget

It’s Saturday, March 2, 2013. Blessings to you that stumble across this place. If you’re here on purpose, thanks for being a faithful reader.

Today is National Old Stuff Day. Not sure exactly what that means. I have a lot of it, though. Maybe it’s a day to identify some of the old stuff that needs to be “gone stuff?”

If you happen to be in the Dallas area, the North Texas Irish Festival is this weekend, at the Fair Park. Always good fun, with lots of Irish music, food, and other entertainment.

Stephanie has a new challenge. The challenge for March (which began yesterday) is to have 16 workout days in the month, including two “Group X” workouts. So, in order to facilitate this, we are going to the gym in about a half hour, so Steph can take part in a cycling class at 1000am. I may join in, if there is room. Otherwise, I will do my usual cardio workout.

Christi is currently at the doctor’s office, to see if the pain she is experiencing needs to be seen to more urgently. I’ll update when possible.

On this date in 1476, the Swiss defeated Charles the Bold for the first of three times, taking a great amount of his treasure in the process. Among the taken treasure was his gold dinnerware, twelve “exquisite enamel apostles,” and an amazing collection of jewelry.

Today’s birthday is Kurt Weill, born on this date in 1900. Weill, a German composer, was probably most famous for his production, “The Threepenny Opera,” from which we get the song, “Mack the Knife.” He composed a good bit of other music, as well, however. Here is a clip of Marianne Faithfull singing “Alabama Song.”

Show us your steadfast love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation. Psalm 85:7
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple! Psalm 65:4
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love. Psalm 59:16-17
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. Psalm 84:2

Father, I will sing of your strength, and my soul, indeed, longs for your courts. May my heart and flesh forever sing for joy to you. Give me, this day, my “daily bread,” not just physical, but spiritual, as well. Show me yourself as I meditate on your Word, this morning.

Today, I’m reading Isaiah 30:1-5.

1 “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the LORD, “who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin;
2 who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my direction, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
3 Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.
4 For though his officials are at Zoan and his envoys reach Hanes,
5 everyone comes to shame through a people that cannot profit them, that brings neither help nor profit, but shame and disgrace.”

This could be referring to a time in 701BC when Judah depended on Egypt to help them fight against Sennacherib. Nevertheless, it is an oracle warning against seeking alliances and assistance from ungodly nations, without inquiring of the Lord first. It leads to “neither help nor profit, but shame and disgrace.”

Today’s reading from A Year With God is called “Remember Jesus Christ.” The scripture reading is 2 timothy 2:8-14.

8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel,
9 for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!
10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
11 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.
14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.

There is, even in the most modern of churches, an element of tradition in our Sunday worship. There is a joyful celebration of remembering Jesus Christ. In just the act of reading the above passage of scripture, we are studying a letter written approximately two thousand years ago. That’s one of the ways that we continue as Christians. “Our remembering of the tradition is our revolutionary act of defiance against the lures of the present age, one of our most significant practices of the faith.” In doing so, we are loosed from the “merely contemporary.” Even though the “Word” is two thousand-plus years old, it “speaks anew, lives among us.” The word of God is not chained; it is not bound by any restrictions.

It is clear from reading Paul’s letter to Timothy that doctrinal teaching is necessary. There is a message that needs to be repeated on a regular basis, as we gather together. We must constantly remind ourselves of these truths. I am challenged to examine my worship life…is there enough biblical content, enough doctrine, to sustain me?

Father, as I go about my daily life, may it be a life of true worship. Remind me that worship is not simply something that is done on Sunday morning when the local church gathers. It is a lifestyle, something that I must be about on a daily basis, consistently and joyfully. Remind me of the traditions that are so cheerfully ignored in most of today’s modern gatherings. Remind us all that there is value in tradition, insofar as it does not become the object of worship in and of itself. The value is that it reminds me what Christ did for me. The Gospel needs to be preached to me regularly, even though I have received it years ago. I must practice what I have learned from scripture, and repeat it to myself consistently, lest I forget. Let me never forget.

As this day progresses, I pray for a day of rest, as well as getting certain chores accomplished. I pray for Christi, who is currently at the doctor’s office to ascertain if the pain she is currently enduring is something that needs to be attended to immediately. I keep praying for healing for her. I pray for Stephanie and me as we get ready for a morning workout today. May it be effective and successful. Prepare our hearts for worship tomorrow.

May we never forget the traditions that brought us where we are today, even in our most modern worship settings.

Grace and peace, friends.