Most of the country is freezing and in San Diego, we are bundling up because it was 60 yesterday with rain… What a time to be alive!
This week a few items to check out and be reminded of Christ’s love for you.
GospelThread is a great resource for accessible commentary on Scripture and how it points to Christ. In this post, we see Moses as incomplete as a leader and Jesus as the better prophet, priest, and king.
Jared Wilson, as usual, encourages us to keep our eyes on Jesus as we walk out our faith. We can get so wrapped up in “duty” that we miss the delight of Jesus. Look to him.
And finally a sermon from Terry Virgo on having Transformed Thinking. Just making my way through and so appreciate this humble servant. Oh, and I want more transformed thinking!
Maybe this post is venting or perhaps a cry for help because I don’t have a solution to the problem just yet. But this week I have been struck by the necessity of shared opinion in our day. In fact, if you don’t have an opinion you are view with suspicion or worse.
Maybe it is social media. The constant demand it seems to present for a form of engagement that is really just sharing your opinion, and done aggressively without care for what others may think. Sure people have always had and shared opinions but the prevalence of it is a soup that we swim in as a culture.
Quick, rate the restaurant and shoe store on Yelp. Hurry and like your cousin’s post about a border wall (or perhaps click the angry emoji). Or take your time and write a blog post about how this is bad or that just doesn’t get it. Everything opinion all the time. And the media we engage with gives us a megaphone to broadcast how we feel and think.
It has even invaded normal conversation, judgment of others, things, and situations… many that we have no real knowledge about. The opinion culture fostering criticism and condemnation of everything.
Surely it is an increasing problem that only stands to divide and separate the lot of us. We should all do something about it. Resist the urge. Change the dialogue.
It has been a busy week. Our youngest had surgery on Tuesday to take some hardware out of her reconstructed hips so we have been caring for her as priority. The surgery went great and she is recovering like a champ.
Also this week I have been reading Advent from Fleming Rutledge. I have been intrigued by the liturgical history having been raised in a low church context. Rutledge’s correct view of the posture of Advent has been helpful, not shying away from the sorrow, darkness, and pain in the waiting. Here is an article that might give you a flavor.
Across the internet this week people have begun the tradition of publishing their best books of 2018 lists. One list that is worthwhile is Andrew Wilson’s if for no other reason than to motivate us to read more next year!
When it comes to Halloween many in the church have adamantly opposed celebrating it. We keep the lights off and settle in as any good curmudgeon would. Or better yet, we rebrand the holiday for our own benefit. Much like Christian music we say “if you like the sugar rush and flavors of Halloween, you will love our Harvest Festival!” It always made me chuckle how we year after year coincidentally celebrate “the harvest season” on the same day that everyone else was doing Halloween!
The opinion of some and lots of experience aside, I think we can celebrate Halloween as those looking to be a redemptive influence in our culture and communities. So if you are going to jump in and hand out high-fructose corn syrup what should you do? Here are a few clues:
Meet as many people as you can. Chances are you barely know the people you live next to, let alone those down the street. If you have kids there is no better expected way to meet your neighbors. Go to every house, say hi and introduce yourself as your kids get handfuls of candy. Dare I say invite some people to church! At the least, try to remember their names so next time you see them you can start a conversation.
Give out the best candy. Of all the people on the block, the Christians should be the most generous. So if you don’t give out the full bars of king-sized candy then at least be engaging and kind when you give out what you have.
Enjoy the day. Just smile more, laugh at costumes, be thankful that your neighborhood is abuzz with joyful activity.
Don’t be evil. Leave the ghoulish to the strange neighbor. Reject the evil of Halloween and redeem what’s good. The community, the kids, and oh my goodness, the candy!
There you have it. Go for it. Celebrate Halloween Christianly. And if you aren’t convinced, that’s cool. Follow your conscience but don’t be surprised when others are getting a sugar high. And here is Matt Chandler making the point (if you need a pastor with more cred).