Bottom Line? Excellent week.
Finished Biblical Interpretation, moving into Building a Multi-Generational Church. This is my 5th class, I’m a bit less than half-way through. A decision to be made (and soon) is whether or not I’ll be transitioning to the MDiv program. Which will be a natural lead-in to the Phd discussion. That would be a wonderful thing to pray for me about.
I ran a little more than 5 miles on Saturday. In the pouring rain. It felt glorious. Last week’s motivation problems were washed away. It’s official…I’m a runner again.
Katie was home for the weekend. We had a great time of catching up and chilling out. She had some “bible college” jokes. Which was most excellent. I’m seeing my children become adults, and I am so very proud of who God is making them to be. Anne continue to be an encouragement to me. She loves to serve coffee and snacks before and after church at Eastview. She loves the kids who don’t know what love is. I want to be like her when I grow up.
I started watching “Arrested Development” last week. It brought a ton of laughter into our Friday night.
I’m feeling encouraged right now about the things that God is doing in HIS student ministry program at Eastview. We’ve had some amazing conversations in our middle school and high school youth groups…Sunday School as well. I feel as though there is some sifting going on. The more our kids are exposing themselves to God’s Word, the more He is doing. In thinking about the 4 soils analogy of Jesus’ “Parable of the Sower”, I’m starting to see some soil revealing itself. While I’m not hanging a “Mission Accomplished” banner in our youth room, there are some things happening. And, I suppose that I shouldn’t really be surprised, should I?
I’m still in the book of Luke. This morning, I read Luke 21. The chapter begins with the well-know tale of the giving of the widow’s mite…the wealthy give out of wealth, she gave out of poverty, which was the more blessed gift. Then, something happens in the story:
“Some of the disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”
What are we really about? The place? Or what happens IN the place? Sometimes we can be so enamored with the building itself that we fail to recognize that what we have is simply a tool. That this happened immediately following their encounter with the widow is not coincidental.
When Moses built the Tabernacle, all of the people brought what they had, they gave out of their wealth, so much so that Moses had to tell the people to stop. And then…the Israelites committed adulterous act upon adulterous act against God. God gave them over again and again to their sin…and to the other nations. They had the shiniest temple around…and God was no where near it. He departed from it, and Ezekiel watched it happen. All the while the people were bringing offerings that meant nothing. They were whitewashed tombs, cups that were shiny and bright on the outside, but a total mess on the inside.
Sure, God ordered that the temple be built in a manner befitting the worship of the One True God. At some point, it stopped being about Him, and started being about the temple itself. Don’t believe me? Go back and read Luke 21:5 again:
“Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God.”
It wasn’t about God at all. And…neither is our building worship. It is the meek, the humble, the poor inspirit that God will exalt. Let’s be about them.
Colorado is a week away, can’t wait!