Friday, May 26, 2017

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a federal holiday for remembering those who have died serving in the armed forces. To mark the day flags are out, flowers are placed on graves and parades are held. For many, Memorial Day also marks the unofficial start to summer and a great time to get yard work done in preparation for the summer months.

Lamentations 5 talks about a different type of “memorial day.” Remember, O LORD, what has befallen us (Lamentations 5:1). Much of the Christian life centers around remembering. It is about us remembering God, as well as about reminding God of his people and his promises. Of course, God does not forget in the way that we do. And it is precisely because of his faithfulness that we have the confidence to “remind” him of his promises. And so we come to the end of Lamentations where the people are led to pray before their steadfast God, reminding him of their plight and pleading for him to remember. We too are invited into this remembering cycle and consequently invited deeper into a relationship with our steadfast God!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Back in the Lab

It is great to be back from vacation. We had a wonderful time. We enjoyed some nature viewing and hiking in the Smokies and then celebrated with Josiah at his graduation from Covenant College. Our travel was safe and a new batch of memories was made; very thankful.

Now we are back into the flow of the life of the church. The church, as an institution often takes a beating, sometimes rightfully so. Never the less, the church is God’s instrument for the incubation of his Kingdom here on earth. And it has, like Noah’s ark, continued to float despite the floods of the years. Mark Sayers, In a recent book entitled, Strange Days: Life in the Spirit in a Time of Upheaval, says this about the church:

“The cautionary tales of the book of Acts, the warnings against false teachers found in the pastoral epistles, the corrections and rebukes of Paul’s writings, offer a realistic view of the church. A concert of people fighting the flesh, living through the Spirit. At times, just as Paul warned, falling back into the slavery of the elemental forces, at other times losing itself in the freedom, forgetting its source. As Christ promised Peter, the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church, and in every age, the principalities and powers, humiliated and exposed could not contain its advance. And so it will continue to move forward in our age of upheaval; the gospel will continue to change hearts, the living laboratory of Spirit-filled life that is the church will grow and advance the kingdom in our time.”

I share this for your encouragement. There are times that life in the “laboratory” is difficult, but the source of our life together is none other than the living risen Christ!