September 24, 2020

A Word about the Word-
“There was evening, and there was morning: one day…” [Genesis 1:5] 

Rest is our theme this Sunday—God willing. It culminates in this beautiful and poetic description of the Creation in Genesis 1. Rest. But even before the narrative gets to the gracious day of rest, we find this rhythm of grace—“evening and morning, one day.” God works, evening comes, we go to sleep, and God continues to work. While we sleep, the Lord watches over us. He is providentially caring for us. Then we wake up to a new day and in a world that we did not make.  Evening then morning. This is the habit of many Jews today. Their Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday and continues throughout Saturday.  This is also a vivid picture of the Christian’s salvation. By grace God works when we are unable; “asleep,” as it were. And by faith we wake up into a salvation that we didn’t earn.  

Close to Home
There’s an outlandish statistic somewhere that gives the percentage of us who have been directly affected by cancer in one way or another. It’s huge! I have a few friends that are cancer survivors. And I lost my dad and my sister to cancer. I believe that our church could become a place where those struggling with the reality of cancer could find love and support. Would you pray with me for that? I foresee that, just as God raised up people in our midst who had a passion for those working through the issues of divorce or grief, there may be some presently in the Trinity family whom God could use to facilitate real support and love through a similar type of group here.  The last few days, many more people have been making their way onto Trinity’s campus and into our building, still respectful of COVID protocols (thank you!), and experiencing the life and ministries of fellowship and the Word. It’s men and women and it will be kids on Friday. Man, I miss the in-person fellowship and camaraderie of people!  

The World as It Is
I’m still regularly interacting and involved with our ministry in India (Dignity Freedom Network). The national plight of the Indians is dire (especially among the Dalit and lower castes) because of COVID-19. Recently, India reported the highest number of COVID cases in a day (90,000). DFN and its ministries are bringing the compassion and care of Christ to many at the bottom of the caste system.  The Book of Common Prayer is a collection of prayers and devotionals from the sixteenth century. It calls us to ponder and pray about a variety of themes and subjects. For example, we are led to pray for a “peaceably ordered governance” so that we may live in “godly quietness.” The first one, I’m pretty sure, could use a ton of our prayers (maybe some prolonged fasting too :). The second—“godly quietness”—someone will have to tell me what that is. No clue. I’m sure I haven’t experienced it on the news or social media. We need to hear all the good stories we possibly can. Here’s one for you.

And Then There’s This…
I’ve always appreciated these words from Teddy Roosevelt. They are part of a speech that he gave in Paris a year after his presidency ended. Given in 1910 and during a particularly difficult time in the world, this speech entitled “Citizenship in a Republic” verbalizes Roosevelt’s frustration with cynics who incessantly criticized others who were trying hard to make the world a better place. Not unlike our world.  “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Since we began this with the wonder of God’s creation, I leave you with worship around “Wonder.”  I’ll catch you on the other side.