To The Point for July 7 2020

A Word about the Word

My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger [James 1:19].

It seems as though these words have faded from many people’s Bibles. (Or maybe they’ve just been relegated to the status of the genealogies: interesting words, but we’re not sure what to do with them or how to apply them to everyday life.)

A side conversation that Trinity’s Elders recently had as we met to pray had to do with the unkindness of so many (as evidenced by their words in person and on social media). One Elder, fairly new to the social media scene, was aghast at the caustic rhetoric—even from church people! I told him to quit trolling the saints. J

And yet, James’ words above are a megaphone to our present situation and our often undisciplined tongues. I know we are better than this. We need to try to be kinder and actually care that an unchurched world is watching and listening to us. Per the Apostle James, we need to listen better, speak (and write) much less, and control our anger. We need to be the best possible versions of ourselves. Your positions, opinions, and words are not only affecting your life—they are affecting many others as well.

As I mentioned on Sunday morning, our time as Elders ended with a desire to summon the church to walk in step with the Holy Spirit and pursue the Fruit of the Spirit. Let’s start making these beautiful “fruit” our signature:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things [Galatians 5:22–23].

Close to Home and The World as It Is

As the world wrings its hands and awaits the next wave of dire news, the Church can offer real hope. It often has. And our model is the first-century Church. It, too, was confronted with pandemics—notice the plural. While our pandemics today look like COVID-19, economic crisis, and racial unrest, the first Church’s looked a little different…and yet eerily similar.

The Book of Acts recounts how the early Christians responded during a famine (Acts 11). Instead of denying its reality, playing the blame game, or proclaiming the End of the World—the Christian people CARED and sought to help those affected by the natural disaster. When economic troubles spread among the people, the early church dug deep into its pockets and SHARED what they had with those in need (Acts 4). And when the many of one race (the Jews) were offended by the potential intrusion of another (the Gentiles), the Lord reminded his followers that he “so loved the world.” They responded and DARED to imagine what being one People together would look like (Acts 10). And those Christians turned the world upside down.

Fast forward: In the throes of these current pandemics, what would happen if Christians today looked beyond themselves to CARE and SHARE and DARE. Wow! The world is waiting.

#CultureNerd

Ennio Morricone, one of the greatest musical geniuses of our age, passed away on Monday. What a repertoire of great music and film soundtracks he leaves behind! My favorite was his soundtrack of The Mission. Powerful movie, too! And he always composed in pencil—without a piano! His music has been the background of much of my studying and sermon preparation through the years.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/06/obituaries/ennio-morricone-dead.html

Here, Maestro conducts his own beautiful piece. My favorite! Give it a watch and listen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oag1Dfa1e_E

And sometimes we just need a little common sense. Thanks, Tom.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/jul/06/tom-hanks-on-surviving-coronavirus-i-had-crippling-body-aches-fatigue-and-couldnt-concentrate

And Then There’s This…

Out of the mouths of babes: Pastor David’s son, Josiah, told his parents at dinner tonight that the food was kalos. “Pastor Paul told us that word means ‘good’ in Greek,” he proclaimed. I love it!

I’ll see you on the other side.
Pastor Paul