Today is Monday, November 20, 2017. Day 21,802.
Only three more days until Thanksgiving!
Dick Clark, who was born on this date in 1929 (died 2012), said, “I don’t set trends. I just find out what they are and exploit them.”
The word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is bombinate, a verb that means, “to make a sustained deep murmuring, humming, or buzzing sound : buzz, drone.”
Today is Name Your PC Day. With a laptop, a desktop, and a work desktop, I’m at somewhat of a loss as to what to name them. I might name my work PC “Molasses,” because that’s about how fast it runs.
We had a pretty good day, yesterday. The worship gathering went well, and once we got home from that, we were pretty much free for the day. For the most part, we just rested, which was nice. C was dealing with a pinched nerve or something, as we got ready for bed, but I think that finally got better. I think she slept pretty well. She’s not up, just yet, but I’m hearing waking up noises from in there.
News sources are reporting that Charles Manson has died. I figure I will see a bit of celebrating and name-calling on Facebook. Which makes me wonder . . . is it ever right to celebrate that someone has died?
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
(From The Divine Hours)
Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!
Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!
For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me.
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city.
But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.
(From Practice Resurrection)
Springing off of an example of attending lacrosse games with his wife-to-be, Eugene Peterson identifies three common responses to what is perceived as messiness and chaos in the church. Some people find “a place in the bleachers with a few other likeminded people and make do with what they find there.” There are others who are frustrated by what they see and set out to fix it, to “do something about it.” Others will leave and try to find another place where they are more comfortable.
Peterson says that none of these responses is actually without some value. However, “by reducing church to matters of function and personal preference,” people “miss church in its richness, its intricacy, the complex aliveness that is inherent to everything that is going on.”
Once again, he returns to this thought of “ontology,” the philosophy of being. Paul, in his writings, wants us to understand this and then participate in what church truly is, which is the body of Christ. Again, we need to focus on what it is, rather than what it does. Sure, there are functions, “things happen, things are done, there are jobs to do, there are tasks to be obeyed.” But if we don’t understand the being first, “we will always be dissatisfied, impatient, angry, dismayed, or disgusted with what we see.”
I know this from experience. I have been there. I will admit that I occasionally even slip back into that mode. But God draws me back into the “being” of church, over its function. By focusing on the “being,” we can see “the elegance and intricacy of church.” We can see what God is doing, rather than focusing on what the people are doing (or not doing). And if we don’t have a healthy ontology of church, we will only see what we see with our eyes. “A great deal of what is observable in church is simply incomprehensible as church if we have no ontology of church.”
Father, thank you for this truth. I thank you that you have helped me see the “being” of church, and focus on it more than the functions and what people do. Thank you for helping me understand that it is more important to see what you are doing than what we are doing. Remind me, each week, as we gather for worship, that you are there, moving in our midst, actively working. You are not simply a passive audience, soaking in our worship and adoration. You are working in us and around us. Help us to see this, receive it, and join in.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Grace and peace, friends.