We are flying through this thing. Thank you for all of the kind comments and messages that I get from those of you following this exercise. I have never thought of myself as particularly bright, particularly devout, particularly deep. What I want to be is willing, willing to risk, to look foolish, to be too simple. And willing to step out and say, “Here’s what I’ve got Lord. Use it if you can.”
Today read: Psalm 32, Proverbs 18, Isaiah 25:1-9. (Thank you Pastor Gary Pyatt for teaching me to format the scripture reading this way. Now, you can cut the three readings, paste them just as they are in Bible Gateway, and it will bring up all three passages. Is that cool or what?)
Quick thought today. Last night in church, Pastor Bryce Harper brought up this picture. The Apostle Paul has left this world and is crossing over into heaven. As he walks through the gates he greeted by the deafening applause of all those who have gone before him, welcoming this incredible hero of the faith to his eternal reward. Isn’t that a beautiful picture? But think about that for a moment. Who is in this crowd? Well, for one, all of the martyrs, those who suffered torture and death for their faith. And specifically, many of them suffered at the hands of Paul himself. Those very martyrs are leading the applause, rejoicing in Paul’s triumphal entry. That is the picture of the church, or at least the church that should be.
We perhaps sit in the chairs, not far removed from someone that hurt us, that voted a different way than we did, that wears a mask (or doesn’t wear a mask.) If we are really the church, we rejoice in them. We applaud them. We welcome them into the family of God unreservedly. We love them like Christ loved us, not in spite of our flaws but because of them. If we are that kind of church…well, the world will stand back in wonder. If we do not love, we do not forgive. If we love, we forgive. But if we love greatly, like we are supposed to, like Christ wants His church to, then we rejoice in the other, even those that harmed us.
I’d go to that church. Tomorrow I’ll try to tell you a Tony Campolo story about that kind of church. It’s my favorite.
Remember what we are doing:
Loving His Word. Read the scripture every day.
Loving His Presence. Pray at LEAST 12 minutes every day. (Go back to one of the early videos to find out how.)
Loving His people. Do one random act of kindness each day.
Loving His Church. This would be a good week to do something nice for your church.
Loving His Creation. We are not good at ecological stewardship, but we need to be.
Bless you all. See you tomorrow
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