“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the Heavens.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV
During Advent, let us pause to deliberately set our soul’s posture for worshipping Emmanuel – God with us. Let us see this exercise as our Yuletide spiritual discipline. A fundamental aspect of this practice for me has been to recall in detail Scripture’s profound testimony of Jesus.
The intent of my writing on the precious nature of hymns is to share their impact on my discipleship and encourage you as disciples to consider supplementing your own devotional time with hymns. A part of my spiritual respite with the Father includes singing or reading a hymn. It is a discipline worthy of any follower of Jesus.
I’m wondering if in addition to our practice of the spiritual disciplines, we exercise the discipline of conducting an on-going personal social media audit? What testimony or witness are my uploads, emails, posts or tweets having? Are they in harmony with Jesus’ teaching: “Do to others as you as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31 NIV)?
Historic. A beginning. A day to listen. An act of repentance. An apology heard around the world. Profound and personal. These are a sample of the sentiments used to describe Pope Francis’ apology to First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples on July 25th in Maskwacis, Alberta. Maskwacis is the site of the former Ermineskin Residential School.
A clarifying question for me about the church is: What other entity has been given a God-ordained mandate to proclaim the gospel and make disciples of Jesus? There are great organizations that feed the poor, visit prisoners, achieve justice for the disenfranchised and fight for social causes. Many have the blessing of God. However, telling others about Jesus and how to follow him is to be the church’s main thing.
No pastor or lay leader I’ve spoken to recently believes that the church will ever return to the way it used to be. The anxious rumbling is now similar to that of the Israelites after crossing the Red Sea: “Well, where to from here?” This sentiment is often laced with a mixture of uncertainty, fear and doubt.
My mom sensed when we were on the verge of quitting and rallied us by saying, “Just one more pail. Just one more pail.” In response, we kept on keeping on, rock after rock, pail after pail. Eventually, the seemingly impossible work (from a young boy’s perspective) was completed, and the aches forgotten.