For a good portion of this year, my daily spiritual routine had me in an older practice. I sensed a leading from the Spirit to return to a practice of walking a little more deeply in Scripture like I did for years when I was first in ministry.
Scot McKnight has been walking through some structure of what it may mean to reconstruct faith after the battle to deconstruct as someone walks through the minefield of our current religious landscape. He writes behind a paywall, so I will list some things here.
When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
One of the hardest challenges is to truly love the Lord when you are in prosperity. You have need of nothing. It is easy to forget. This is the warning Moses gives Israel as they are ready to enter the Promised Land.
The second half of this Holy Post Podcast has an interview with Philip Yancey. They feature his latest book, which is his memoir. Yancey has been a challenging voice for me for decades. (His interview comes around 49 minutes in.) With our current struggle with terminology like “deconstruction”, Yancey represents the understanding that some form of deconstruction happens in every generation. I think you will love his thoughts on the three things that brought him back to faith.
Decades ago I remember a column or opinion piece written about our obsessions and warped values. At the time it was referring to the way we lift up people who work hard, work long hours, and don’t have time to “take it easy.” The prime example for that article was Dick Cheney (long before he was VP). Cheney had some heart issues (well… that’s just a sentence to get teed up, isn’t it?) and he was praised at the time for going into the doctor to get a stent or two in the morning then getting back to work that afternoon.
No one paused to say, “The man is a workaholic and that’s dangerous.” (Except for the author of the column or opinion piece.)
I’ve been on a wonderful trip with our in-laws through Pennsylvania. Gettysburg. Lancaster. Philadelphia.
As I’ve taken this trip, especially in Lancaster, PA, where James Buchanan and Thaddeus Stevens both resided, I’ve learned all over again it’s not about history.
It is histories. We don’t get the the whole story a lot of the time when we concentrate on one particular storyline. It is vital to keep digging throughout life to keep learning from as many voices as possible.
The past few days have been what I call “History Geek Week” for me. We have gone on a fantastic historical tour of Pennsylvania with my in-laws. One I’ve always wanted to do and this was a great opportunity.
The first two days in Pennsylvania were spent in Gettysburg, then Lancaster area. Gettysburg is a place to be studied. It is to be pondered. It is a place to sit and wonder.
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The size of the harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but there are few workers. Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest.” (Matt. 9:35-38)
The question I am asking myself of late: Am I SEEING people? Am I seeing the harrassed and helpless? Am I moved to action?