Reading for today: Psalm 32, Proverbs 20, Romans 8:31-39. (How am I doing Pastor Gary?)
It is hard to believe we are only two weeks away from the end of Lent and the end of our 40 Day Adventure together. I hope this has been helpful and especially over the next two weeks begins to turn your hearts toward Easter. As has been our pattern, on Saturday, a very brief devotional, the scripture readings for the next week, and a reminder of the theme.. Let’s do that first. Our Adventure has been “Love Actually; 40 Days to Love the Things That God Loves.” Week 1 we focused on His Word, the Bible. Week 2 was His Presence, prayer. Week 3, His people, doing random acts of kindness. And this week, His Church. Next week the focus will be on His Creation. My imagination is that MOST of us are very poor at connecting our walk with God with our care for the environment. But I think the planet and non-human creatures that He so painstakingly made in Genesis 1, are still very important to Him. So, we will think about it together. If you have ideas of what we can do to “serve” our ecological system, please write a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.
Next week we will read Psalm 56. Remember to read the chapter from Proverbs that coincides with the calendar day. And this; Monday-Acts 14:19-28, Tuesday-I Peter 2:21-25, Wednesday-2 Corinthians 1:3-11, Thursday-Isaiah 56:1-6, Friday-Isaiah 56:7-9, Saturday-Isaiah 56:10-12.
If you haven’t read the longer devotional from yesterday (Friday being a long devotion is also the pattern), you might need to read that for this to make sense.
I was pastoring a great church not far from the Middle Tennessee area where Doris and I live now. It was a remarkable group of people that had “caught” the vision for what the church could really be. We had even changed the name of the church to reflect the grace received and grace offered by the Body of Christ. God had blessed, as He does, and the church was growing fast. We needed to expand and in order to expand, we needed more land. We bought 25 acres right behind our existing property that went all the way up the hill and bordered I-40, an incredibly busy stretch of interstate that goes east and west all the way through the state. As we were cleaning up the “forest” on our newly acquired piece of land, we discovered a billboard, a large sign, right on the interstate, that had become completely overgrown and hidden by the brush and small trees. Some of the men, with chainsaws and snake boots, cleared and trimmed and cut until the sign was visible again.
Now, what to do with this amazing gift? Thousands of cars each day would pass and see this billboard. What message? What advertisement was most important to us? What did we want the passersby to know about God and our church? I asked the church board what they thought. Most were relatively new to the church and had come through our church member orientation classes in the last 5 years. We talked for just a few minutes and one of the guys spoke up with what seemed to him to be the obvious answer. Absolutely. No discussion. This is what we want to say, “We throw birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:30 in the morning.” 🙂 🙂 🙂
I probably was wrong for not going with that. I was afraid that out of context, we might be misunderstood. (Ya think?) But I do need to say that it brought tears to my eyes as I realized, “They get it.”
Be the church this weekend, especially to those people that no one else wants to love.
PS Although we are 27 days into this if you are new, back up to Day 1 on the blogs and start your own 40 Day Adventure. See you Monday. (Another pattern, we don’t do Sundays.)