My class was doing some sort of choir pageant thingie. I had already had some notable successes on stage—perhaps you saw me in the 5th grade production of The Invisible Man? Well, you wouldn’t have actually seen me, given the character and all. In fact, I read the lines from off-stage and earned rave reviews from the class newspaper—On the Scene with Room 14! You could—and should—have seen me that same year portraying a giant cockroach. No, it wasn’t Kafka’s Metamorphosis. The psychiatric bill for that one would have been a bit high for elementary school. I was just a giant bug being chased by an equally giant can of Raid. Those who saw my performance were profoundly changed and/or disturbed. Ah, those public school tax dollars at work. Continue reading →
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)
But I don’t like to wait. I have plans and goals and ideas and God just isn’t working fast enough for me.
Besides, waiting seems so passive, so weak. Don’t I need to get out there and accomplish something?
I find it interesting that David says, “Be strong…and wait…” That seems to indicate that waiting takes strength and effort. It’s not passivity…it’s vigilance. In Psalm 130, the Psalmist waits for the Lord, “More than watchmen wait for the morning.” So I should wait, not sitting around aimlessly, but keeping my eyes peeled looking for him.
Sounds like trust.
Sounds like work.
You know, I’ll bet that if I were seeking God, if I were dwelling with him, as the earlier verses in this Psalm talk about, it would be easier to trust him, easier to see where he is working in my life, easier to wait for him.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. (Psalm 27:8)
This is part of that whole, “One thing I ask of the Lord…” idea we saw on Tuesday. Yesterday was a holiday, and it’s easy to get all “New Man”ish when you are outside your normal routine. Today, as you go back to the “real world,” the call to seek God can be harder to hear and obey.
God has placed within us the desire to know him. Sure, that desire gets twisted by sin and buried by the world, but it remains. Listen to the cry of your heart—it’s giving you good advice. Jesus tells us to ask, to seek, to knock. Take the time to do that today, not just this morning, but all through your day. Set the pattern.
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We serve a God of second chances and new beginnings. No matter what 2013 looked like, it is gone. Today you begin again. If last year was one of triumph, great—remember, but don’t live there. Press on. If last year was one of failure, or loss—praise God for this new beginning.
The image in my head this morning is of the land after a snowfall, when nothing has yet touched the surface of the snow. It is fresh, clean, and waiting.
The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
We are coming up on the New Year. When you think about it, it’s just an arbitrary date on an imaginary calendar. I mean, it’s not like Wednesday is going to look different from Tuesday. Sky will still be blue, grass green, gravity should remain fairly constant.
We look at the New Year as a time to start fresh, to begin (or re-begin) new things. We wonder about the future and what it will hold for us. What opportunities await us in the coming year? What challenges? What treasures lie in our paths, and what monsters lie in wait? It can be an exciting time—and a scary time.
As you gird your loins for January 1, ask yourself the same question David asks: With God as my light, my life, my protector, what can possibly frighten me?
He was a miser, a scoundrel, a skinflint, a crook—He was villainous, ominous, monstrous—a schnook!
This is the description of Ebenezer Scrooge from the musical Scrooge, currently running at LifeHouse Theater. If you read last weekend’s post, you know that I have the privilege of playing that very miser, scoundrel, skinflint, etc.
I love story. I love the way a good writer can get inside your head and show you pictures of yourself reflected in a fictional character. I love the lessons we, as readers, or audience members, or even performers, can learn from the characters we experience.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:7)
Not through political activism.
Not through military strength.
Not through personal charisma.
Not through any power of man.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
It’s Christmas Day. A day when we celebrate peace on Earth. A day that can be, ironically, one of the most hectic and stressful of the year. For some of you, today will be a reminder of why you see your family only a few times a year. Others might know the awkwardness of being the extra wheel at someone else’s gathering, or the pain of being alone.
Except you’re not.
Remember, he is the Prince of Peace.
Peace between you and God.
Peace that passes all understanding.
Peace that allows the Lord of the universe to make his home in your heart.
Peace with your freakish relatives.
Peace within the tumult of your own heart.
Embrace the baby today. Celebrate this Prince who brings you peace.