It is a most pleasurable and painful need of His image: To speak, to sing, to form, to make. Our hands were sculpted to press a moldless form into beauty. Our eyes were crafted to dream color into a dark grey vision. Our lips were shaped to taste the ever-sweeter sensations that we could conceive. We were fearfully and wonderfully designed to create like the Creator.
I feel genuinely sorry for people who do not go to a church that follows the old church calendar. Not that it will necessarily make the preaching better or ensure the handing over of the gifts of God, but as an organizing principle the movement of seasons and times throughout the year gives us something powerful, something beautiful, something to help drive our attention and focus. Could you imagine not having the season of Lent?
There’s something about pastors not acting the way people think pastors ought to act that attracts people—if not in real life, then at least on the screen. From Pale Rider to Machine Gun Preacher, people like to watch preachers pulled out of the regular ruts of how we imagine their lives and into some extraordinary action. Maybe pastors like to watch so they can live vicariously through the actions of guys in collars doing things we ourselves would never do!
While many of us might think a fire in the wild is always bad, for some time farmers and ranchers have used controllable burns to not only reset their fields but even replenish them. Also, even natural fires can be good for new growth to occur and stop the decay of a rotting forest which could even be worse for the environment.
It’s nothing new, we all have felt the war between what we know is true from the words of God and what the culture says is good and right. Most of the time though it doesn’t affect us directly, usually it is just those other people out there doing something we totally disapprove of. But every once in a while, this battle starts stirring in our own home, among the people we love, even right in the eyes of the little people we’ve known from their first breath.
I often wonder what sort of stories a biography of St. Peter might contain. This man was incredible; incredibly passionate, incredibly rash and incredibly human. The more I read about him in Scripture, the more I find him to be a similar spirit to me, a comrade of sorts. His life from the moment he was called by Jesus to follow until the end of his days is marked by incredible highs and lows, moments of profound faithfulness and defiant hope and then, almost within the same breath, miserable failure.
I’ve recently begun practicing something new when my family gathers together at the dinner table – yep, we still use the dinner table! This practice, however, is something contrary to the so-called “old, traditional male thingy,” but I’m confident I’m doing the right thing. For some this idea may seem novel, for others you may already be doing this whether you realize it or not. But it’s something I’ve intentionally sought to practice.