“I know what I would obtain; it is ease from my heavy burden.”
“But why wilt thou seek for ease this way, seeing so many dangers attend it? Especially since (hadst thou but patience to hear me) I could direct thee to the obtaining of what thou desirest, without the dangers that thou in this way wilt run thyself into? Yea, and the rememdy is at hand. Besides, I will add that instead of those dangers, thou shalt meet with much safety, friendship, and content.”
Doesn’t that sound great? To be rid of our burden… And the answer is found in a promise. This traveller, Christian (of Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress”) is carrying a burden he can hardly bear, when he is offered this promise by Mr. Worldy Wiseman. And he, too, is wooed by the promise. He listened to the man’s directions and followed them into the town of Morality to see a man and his son called Legality and Civility. Fortunately, he was rescued by a messenger of the King and placed back on the right path before Legality and Civility were able to enslave him. Legality, you see, is a cheat, and his son, Civility is nothing but a hypocrite – they can’t deliver what is promised.
As I read this portion of Bunyan’s classic, I couldn’t help but hear a 300 year echo in Erwin McManus’ “Barbarian Way”. The church is too often turned aside by what seems Wise. We are content in our Legality and Civility – the only problem is, they cannot save us! All that can save us is to take up our burden, our cross, and barbarically follow the Christ. He alone can lead us to the Eternal. But the path is full of dangers – not comforts. Harsh stone pillows and bitter cold, not padded pews and climate control.
I heard a quote today from C.S. Lewis where he said many preachers seem like “mild-mannered people exhorting mild-mannered people to be more mild-mannered.” That doesn’t sound like Jesus to me. It sounds like Worldly Wiseman.
May we heed the Truth of God’s Word – and follow Him passionately and foolishly enough to resist the wisdom found in the village of Morality. It’s just not enough…
Haven’t really gotten into a lot of online quizzes, but just messing around and did this one…
You’re Watership Down!
by Richard Adams
Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you’re actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You’d be recognized as such if you weren’t always talking about talking rabbits.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Dang! I haven’t even read that book! I feel like I need to go jump in a hole ’til I know myself… Oh, and sorry if I’ve told you where to build your house!
OK, just for fun…
A friend of mine started a little bantering on his blog about favorite college football teams. I made a statement of my loyalties there, and now have been called out to the field, so to speak! So here it is…
Living in Nebraska, a certain level of caution is prudent, so I will say first that, yes, I do like the Huskers. However – I will not paint my house red or fly big N’s from my car antannae or dress my kids up as Herbie Husker or wear a giant corn cob on my head or anything else like that. I like them, but they’re not my favorite.
That distinction goes to my homeland university. The University of Wyoming Cowboys. Coming of the best season they’ve had in… a really long time (which included a bowl game crackdown on UCLA) they were ranked 25 in Sports Illustrated’s pre-season rankings. SI may be offering a very “optomistic” projection there, but we’ll take it.
Joe Glenn has done a good job turning around the program, and it’ll be great to watch him continue to win with Wyoming…
ok, let the bashing begin… but be nice!
Back to School time is always a shift in youth ministry, but this year is different for me. Not only are my kids no longer hanging out at the church building a lot of afternoons because they’ve now got homework to do – my oldest daughter started Kindergarten this year.
She was really excited when we dropped her off this morning. She’ll do great, I’m sure. She’s too smart for her own good sometimes, and chatters maybe a little too much, but she’ll adjust and do great. She’s got a couple kids from our church and from pre-school in her class and she’s excited to make new friends.
I just hope I don’t forget to pick her up after school!
Larry’s a great guy. He has a pony tail, bad knees, and a Honda Gold Wing (that’s not what makes him a great guy – just some interesting stuff). He works hard and would do just about anything to help someone else. He’s got a good sense of humor and enjoys life. He’s also an elder in our church. He recently had just been through a week where he’d had a number of opportunities to show the love of Christ by helping somebody else – and as usual, he took those opportunities.
One guy he was helping stopped and asked him, “Are you a minister?” Larry said at that moment, the light went on deep inside and the reality of ministry in the body of Christ sunk in more deeply than it ever had before. “Yes, I am. I’m not ordained as clergy, but yes, I am a minister of Christ.” In the light of service, he’d come to a deeper understanding of ministry.
Now I know for many of you who read this blog, the reality that every follower of Christ has a ministry is evident in your communities. Every believer is truly seen as a part of the priesthood of the Body of Christ. It’s part of your ethos. (I love the way Mosaic people talk about ‘coming on staff’ as opposed to getting your name on the membership list.)
But that is not the case in many churches. And it’s not always the case where I live. But I see that block of our spiritual genetics changing. I see more and more individuals coming to the realization that they are ministers of Christ. I see increasing numbers of students realizing the service they do in the name of Christ is ministry.
The heart of Christ beats within His people, and ministry is the cadence of its rhythm.
So, are you a minister?