Entries Tagged 'Repentance'
Join the Psalminizers (Jason, Melanie, Jim and Pastor Tim) as we turn to our next three Psalms (37-39) and reflect on how they turn us towards our need for repentance and God’s grace.
An Ash Wednesday reflection in the shadow of war:
It’s 3 a.m. and I’m on Twitter impatiently refreshing, looking for news from Ukraine. I check over on Ukrainian President Zelensky’s account, too, looking for signs he’s still alive and Russia hasn’t managed to find him yet. Probably a lot of you reading this are doing the same. Death looms large this Ash Wednesday, situated amidst the first global-level conflict of the Internet era.
How do we understand ourselves in relationship to God? Isaiah 6 challenges us to think about that.
This week, I turn one book back from last week to 1 Chronicles to think about our failures, the call to repentance and the promise of God’s forgiveness.
What makes us foolish vs. wise in God’s eyes? That’s the question of the night as we dig into Matthew 25:1-13 (The Wise and Foolish Virgins). Got a few minutes? Please join me.
Continuing from Part I.
It was so quiet that even the proverbial church mouse was not stirring around St. Francis of Assisi Chapel. Father Thomas, who had just plodded through the passageway that connected the church with the parsonage mused about the simple blessing of a warm passageway between his office and home. Though he had initially resented when the bishop had placed him in the little country parish, it did have its perks.
He gazed out the window of his home and looked down the hill where the moonlight danced on the water of small pond that the church owned. A smile crossed his face — it would only be a few months before parish children were once again playing in the pond, seeking a short respite from the heat. Life was good here.
His reflection caught his attention in the windowpane. His hair was almost entirely gray now, and the light silver rims of his glasses twinkled back at him. He sighed. He was growing old; he had originally intended much more exciting adventures for his life, but now he was known as the kindly, quiet cleric whose big secret was that he would sometimes sneak down to the pond to fish for a little while when he needed a break from the problems of the parish.
He shuffled over to his small kitchen and pulled an old coffee filter out of his Mr. Coffee. He opened open a small box that held filters and put a new one in, then took a few tablespoons of decaf coffee and placed it in the filter. A little coffee would be nice before heading to bed. Thomas then filled the coffee pot with water and started pouring it into the coffee maker. It was only then that he heard the peculiar sound coming from the chapel. It sounded like a chain saw.
Not usually a particularly brave man, the recollection of the simple enjoyment he received from the parish apparently had instilled a momentary protectiveness of his parish and he dashed over to the door that led to the passageway he had just passed through and unbolted the lock. The sound seemed to be coming from the front of the nave. He passed quickly from the apse and glanced down the aisles of pews. No, the sound was coming from the narthex. He rushed down the center aisle and pushed hard against the old, wooden doors that led to the entryway. The sound had ceased, and that's when he realized what it had been. As he stood in a stupor of a particularly confused form of shock, he heard the squeal of a car not far off. A cold breeze caused him to shiver. By the time he came back to his senses, the vehicle was long gone.
His hands trembled as he turned around and retraced his steps, trying to figure out precisely how he'd explain the situation to the police.
I can hear generators roaring all around as I write this. Despite all of the lines around here being buried up to the road, most of the neighborhood is dark. Somehow, I've been fortunate enough to have power throughout.
Even better, the storms appear to be warming up, so maybe that'll keep any new layers of ice from falling and breaking more trees. I hope.
Well, my last post was early, but now I can officially wish y'all a very happy new year! Ah, 2007! This should be a good year, I think. Tomorrow, my resolution is to bring some new asisaid Challenge questions for my wonderful blog readers to be tormented with.
In the mean time, just a few moments ago, I decided on a few resolutions:
- I don't have a lot of hope for learning a musical instrument, but it is time I became fluent in at least musical notation. Then I could play around with MIDI stuff and maybe compose something (even though I couldn't play whatever I came up with).
- Aim for fluency in Greek. I want to be able to read the Greek New Testament as my primary Bible some day. Maybe not this year, but this is the year I need to expand into reading it more often.
- Write a book. I need to quit talking about this and actually put the pen to the paper. I have the beginnings of a novel as well as a book on philosophy of religion. One of them should be at least in a rough draft by the end of 2007.
Feel free to share your resolutions below. Once again, Happy New Year!
I just opened a Christmas gift of the Reformation Study Bible (ESV). It is edited by R.C. Sproul and has extensive notes on each page. It reminds me a lot of my Harper-Collins Study Bible (NRSV), save that it comes from a conservative scholarly viewpoint rather than a liberal scholarly viewpoint. It is nice to see it is a scholarly conservative viewpoint — the type of thing Sproul is good at providing — usually conservative leaning study Bibles seem to ignore or entirely dismiss the other side without sticking to scholarship. This new Bible and my Harper-Collins ought to balance things quite nicely. It seems to deal with points such as the documentary hypothesis rather fairly even as it expresses its disagreement with those points.
Oddly, for my general detachment from the KJV tradition (other than that I like the way the KJV sounds), my two study Bibles have a heritage linked to it. I'm not familiar with precisely how much influence the KJV exerted over the NRSV and the ESV, but the former is the official heir to the RSV and the ESV apparently draws enough from the RSV to merit reference to the RSV copyright.
Interestingly, the ESV apparently picks up the middle ground on gender translation, favoring a neuter reference (such as “people”) when the original text is not referring specifically to a male, but retaining the usage of “brothers” and other similar words as opposed to “brothers and sisters.”
I've ended up with two other ESV Bibles over the last six months, but I've not yet investigated it much. We'll see. I'm still partial to the NIV and NCV and I'm still using the NLT the most (since that's what edition of the One Year Bible I own).
To use Christopher's phrase, me likey.