Sunday, September 26, 2010

A living hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you belive in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexplicable and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. - 1 Peter 1: 3-9

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Addicted to doing

This is a word to preachers of the Word.

Do you often wonder why the faces of so many in your congregations are slack-jawed during worship on Sunday mornings? Do you often wonder why so few come back on Sunday evenings?

Here is the answer: most of your congregants are addicted to doing, and in that addiction, their minds and bodies are exhausted every week by Sunday morning.

There are your standard, by-definition addictions: tobacco, pain-killers, anti-depressants, alcohol, gambling, 'net pornography.
Then there are these: TV, internet social networks, cyber games, children's athletics, high-school football, band, college football, Monday night football, cheerleading, cheer competition, winter guard competition, church-league softball and basketball, fall girls softball, springs girls softball, fall and spring baseball, year-around training for any serious high school sport, wrestling, athletics booster club, band booster club, work, shopping, texting, drama club, math club, Spanish club, society this/society that, hunting club, fishing, yard work (yes, it can be an addiction) ...

I could go on. So could you, because many of you preachers are as addicted to doing as the people to whom you preach.
This addiction to doing is only 50 years or so old, roughly two generations. When I was a child, baseball for boys was the only non-school youth sport readily available. It started at age 7. Now, there are youth soccer, baseball, football, wrestling, basketball and volleyball. Soccer starts at 4. So does youth wrestling. T-ball starts at about the same age, doesn't it?

For serious participants there are year-around club versions of wrestling, soccer, volleyball, baseball, basketball, cheering and gymnastics. And if your kid is really serious about a non-football/basketball/baseball sport (translated, this means mom and dad hoping for a college scholarship), club ball is necessary to get your kid noticed by college small-sport scouts. When children are involved in these highly organized activities, so are their parents: back and forth to practice, fund-raising, weekend tournaments and summer camps ...

You know what is going on. Yet you wonder why your congregants sit on their hands during preaching, why so few adults volunteer their time. They are addicted to doing, and Sunday is their day of rest from almost everything, including serious study of the Gospel. They are so tired they hear instead of listen, they look instead of see, they feel instead of think.

Idle hands and an idle mind are the devil's workshops, as the old sayings go; so, too, are an exhausted mind and body. Be still and know God. Stay too busy, and know Satan ...