The Problem Is Enmity, Not Ethnicity
Tag Archives: freedom
The recent provincial assembly was a time well spent. My wife wasn’t that thrilled that I was spending all day at the event, but she appreciated some of the information I brought home. I would say the most impactful thing I encountered was the couple who are using their garage as a church. They deliberately moved to a low income neighborhood. They went intentionally knowing the lack of resources available to those who live there. It initially started as Sunday bible time with the smaller kids in the neighborhood who were making friends with their children. The husband is an ordained priest, but works bivocationally.Slowly a few other adults came, but it is still principally centered around the children. The other active adults were explaining how they’ve seen the kids start to mimic the words of the prayers and sacraments. Slowly, bit by bit the wisdom of scripture is filtering into their lives. Less hostility between siblings, slowly less one upsmanship between friends. I couldn’t help but think of Moses exhortation to the Hebrews after the giving of the law.:
“You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
The second big impression was the minute details of the life of the church. There are lots of people working in lots of places doing what God has put them there for. Big and small. Mostly small by our modern era’s standard. And there is a big lesson for us. As culturally soaked American Christian’s, smallness is not what we were brought up on. The usual trope is “Go big or go home”. [as a side note, I’ve tried to pick up the habit of “pray big or go home”]
I hadn’t thought about it until writing this. Assurance. We think of the word in connection with our final “saved” state, that Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us. But there is also the assurance of a final Judgement. Where all things hidden will be revealed. This who did evil in the dark will have it brought into the light. But those who labored for righteousness in the dark and cold places of this planet are assured of a revelation themselves. That no labor done for the Lord, no matter how trivial, menial or obscure by the eyes and judgements of this world will be kept from God’s eyes and from all the saints. There are names we know from history, apostles and early church fathers and the patriarchs and the prophets and the martyrs. But there are untold more from pre-Christ to the church era who are lost to us. But NOT to GOD.
When I think of modern obscurity I nearly always think of North Korea. We know next to nothing of the people there. They must feel so isolated and so alone. Can you imagine coming to Christ and not having a church body to meet with regularly? That faith is a faith truly bathed in grace. So when I’m praying the psalms in my morning devotion, the words of David “protect me from my enemies” I think of them.
Those saints, those humble beggars: we Americans will walk them to the front of line and take our place in the back.
So, here I am cruising at 35,00 feet, or whatever the cruising altitude is for this trip. I’ve been practicing daily morning prayer for over a year now. I am most acutely in need of it on work days. My tendency to over do it. My tendency to depend on myself at work, to drive myself and others, to use strong words and not grace filled ones is strong. I need the daily reminder of who I belong to. I am God’s. I am bought with a price. I was redeemed from the dead. Stolen back from Satan and his evil schemes. The world, wholly owned by Satan, is constantly trying to teach me something. And it’s never good. Time with scripture and the canticles and antiphons remind me I’m just me. I’m not GOD. There have been faithful followers of Christ before me and there will be after me. The prophet Ezekiel dispaired that he was “the only one left”. GOD pointed out there were still 7000 who had not bent the knee to Baal. Seven thousand may be a depressingly small number, but it isn’t just one.
When it comes to one and only, that’s Jesus the Lord and Messiah.
So, I read and pray and remember my smallness.
And that is is how I start my day, by remembering my smallness. I’m no big fish, big kahuna, no keeper of the gate. I’m a small fish in a very large ocean.
I don’t say this out of a bleak outlook or a resignation to my fate. No, I say this in a triumphant shout against my enemy, the Father of lies. The path to life is through the narrow gate. The small gate. The path of humility. The path of obedience to our Saviour.
<Just edited this, I thought I already had. Nope! But now it is.>
<I forgot to mention this was written on 7/19/17>