Friday, June 26, 2020

A Good Day


Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. -Psalm 19:2

It has been my practice over the past several years to think of each day on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of whether it is a good day.

The only day for me that will ever be a 10 is the day my baptism is completed and I am in the nearest presence of Christ, my LORD. That is the day upon which, according to this world, I die.

If there happens to come a day at 1 or below it will be a day that I, by my own reason and strength, reject Christ Jesus. That is the day upon which, according to this world, I live.

Most days have landed above a 5, but below an 8. Being a bit creative, I tend to take the assessment out two decimals, so today, June 26, 2020 would rank at about 6.89.

All of this raises a question of serious import: What constitutes a good day? Or, as the world puts it, a “nice” day.

Is it a good day when everything goes just as you wished and planned? The question is loaded. What is “good?” What does a day count when there are so many, not to mention an eternity to follow?

The course of history from the beginning is that days mark it out in the biggest way. We have come to mark days out in 24-hour increments, and have even taken time into nano-second considerations.

But who owns time, and where did it come from, and what makes your time good or bad?

For those who are baptized into Christ Jesus, all of time is good, even though by all appearances much of it is bad. The pains of a troubled conscience and the prospect of death, along with certain losses, one would allocate to the bad side of life.

But wait. Since those who are baptized into Christ Jesus are baptized into all of time at once, what appears bad is, in fact good. Why? Because it is God’s creation and time, into which He entered with flesh and blood like yours.

A good day is measured on God’s terms, not yours. It is His aim to love and discipline you in His only-begotten Son, Christ Jesus. This He does just for you, every day.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Entertainment


What did people of ancient times do for entertainment?

. . . and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

An undisciplined people allow their passions to rule.
A disciplined people hear the Word of God and keep it.

Best to behold, receive, and hold dear the spectacle of the Cross, because there is no escape from your own passions without Christ crucified.

Oh. You do not want to denounce your fleshly passions. I see. You don't have it in you. The grave will help. But what, or who, will help you out of the grave?

Best to behold, receive, and hold dear the spectacle of the Resurrection, because there is no escape from your own passions without Christ raised up from the dead for you.

But how to receive Christ's life, and where?

It is by hearing, but you are deaf.
It is by seeing, but you are blind.

Uh Oh.

Yet He-Who-Makes-Ear-and-Eye partook of the same so that He might speak into your ears the Words of eternal life, and place before your eyes a called and ordained servant of the Word. For what purpose?

Only one: To forgive your sins and raise you up from the dead. To peel away your desire to rise up and play with other gods.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Discipline and Un-Discipline


The discipline of the Christian Faith says, "Deny yourself."

The un-discipline of a fallen world says, "Be true to Self."

These two are completely at odds with one another, and that is why we do not all "just get along."

You can make attempts at reconciling the two. You can even "coexist" for a while.

In fact, many appear earnestly to pick and choose either of the above and make use of them as needed. A smattering of this teaching, a smattering of that teaching, but that is only self-serving.

In the end it is one or the other that prevails upon both body and soul.

Try as you might to think your Self to be separate from a body, and reality to be a monadic emanation without language and forms so that you can "rise above it all," like a drum stick on a wood block the reality of a true, physical, body and an ordered creation will humble you as you ought to be humbled.

To deny yourself is to depend upon Another. To deny yourself is to serve others. To learn these things is a gift from Above and cannot be conjured from your own heart.

That is why there is a Church, a body of Christ, with pastors and teachers. That is why together they pray and sing praises.

It is God the Father of the LORD Jesus Christ Who has placed you into this Body and kept you there, using simple means and words, just as He speaks and brings all history and creation into being.
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