Sunday, February 04, 2007
Going off the deep end
PRAYER of CONFESSION today at my church.
Lord of Life, we come asking to be made worthy of our calling. Everywhere there is confusion about religion, and yet we still seem to be fishing in the shallow end of the pool. Remind us that we are not called to comfort, or to prosperity, or to personal assurances of salvation -- but to become your disciples. We may not prefer to cast our nets into the deep, but that's where you have called us. In Christ's name we pray, Amen.
"Jesus Call Us, O'er the Tumult"
(I LOVE this hymn, considerin' the ER extended family's recent tumults! --ER)
Jesus call us; o’er the tumult
of our life’s wild, restless sea,
day by day his clear voice soundeth,
saying, "Christian, follow me;"
As, of old, Saint Andrew heard it
by the Galilean lake,
turned from home and toil and kindred,
leaving all for his dear sake.
Jesus calls us from the worship
of the vain world’s golden store;
from each idol that would keep us,
saying, "Christian, love me more."
In our joys and in our sorrows,
days of toil and hours of ease,
still he calls, in cares and pleasures,
"Christian, love me more than these."
Jesus call us! By thy mercies,
Savior, may we hear thy call,
give our hearts to thine obedience,
serve and love thee best of all.
Happy Lord's Day, y'all.
What does it mean to become a disciple of Jesus?
I'd say that at the very, very least, it means to pray for peace, and work for peace, and to start with oneself.
I am quick to go to rhetorical war with those with whom I disagree. That's a form of violence. I'm working on that. Lifetime habits don't change quickly -- but that's why repentence is a lifetime deal, not a one-shot thing.
So, what're YOU doing to promote peace?
I take my three different psychotropic drugs every day, keep my leathal weapons under lock and key, and try not to get into conversations with psuedo-neo-cons or their camp followers.
For me it comes down to the statement my church has adopted: Being, Becoming, Belonging.
Accomplished through greeting, hospitality, evangelism, peer care, pastoral care, mission, study, worship, personal responsibility.
Tangible examples: Feeding the poor; mission work locally and globally to lessen the suffering of others while at the same time introducing God's word and love; projects that use actions and love instead of words and brow-beating, like our Care Critters ministry and our Prayer Shawl ministry.
Personally, I'm planning an auction for April to raise money to support a grassroots housing ministry. I'm also leading a GriefShare support group and will start a second group in a couple of weeks, and help lead DivorceCare support groups.
These are just some of the examples of how my church is putting arms and legs to work to take the Word to the world -- to share that gift of knowing that God sees our pain, knows our sins and loves us anyway.
If you want peace, you have to work for justice. There are many ways of achieving that -- next door or around the world.
I could go on, but that's the introduction.
BTW, what I mean by saying I love that hymn in light of my own travails is that even through the tumult I can still hear His voice -- not that I think He will necessarily deliver me from the tumult!
He calls! The fact that I can still hear Him is cause for rejoicing!
"In our joys and in our sorrows,
days of toil and hours of ease,
still he calls, in cares and pleasures, 'Christian, love me more than these.' "
LORD forgive me when my own voice, as an echo of His, fails to persevere through the tumult of the lives of those around me!
And I have to remember that sometimes He calms the storm and sometimes He calms His child.
Equity will not suffer a wrong to be without a remedy.
A remedy for every wrong, now that is a tall order for a world such as ours.