Worship with Us This Sunday - 10:15 a.m.
I once played the piano. No, I was not a prodigy. There was little threat to me supplanting any of the "greats" on the ivories. I did not like to practice. Week in and week out my mother would take us to our lessons. Each week the teacher would be able to tell I had not practiced. Eventually we all agreed the piano was not for me. Yes, today I wished I had stayed with the lessons. Maybe now I would practice.
Occasionally I play the guitar. Over the years I took lessons from a couple of people. One youth minister gave lessons and for a time I enjoyed practicing. My fingers hurt. Callouses developed. These were good things. But, soon I lost interest. Some years later I picked it up again. This time my teacher was nearly a peer. He and his brother played in a band in high school. They were both good than and are amazing today. I went to college and stopped taking lessons.
My first teacher taught me chords. My second taught me theory. They both told me to practice more. Sometimes I did. Other times not so much.
I enjoy golf and basketball. I did not take lessons for either – maybe I should have found a personal coach. Now I love to play golf. I do not like to practice much. Each time I finish a round I remark to those who played how I should practice more. I would not make the tour, but I could improve my score. Practice takes time. Intentionality. Drive.
Over the weeks leading up to Easter we will consider what it means to practice resurrection. The theme came from a friend who wrote a song with that title. His inspiration is the poet/writer Wendell Berry. The song is about farming. Ask any good farmer and they get better the more they practice their craft.
We commit to the way of Jesus. Often we do not practice. Our failure to practice the way of Jesus gives cynics and skeptics cause to question not just what we profess, but the God who is the subject of our confession. We could just dismiss the skeptics and cynics. Make excuses for their positions. But doing so fails to take account of our contribution to their suspicion.
A popular philosopher I am reading suggests we who make pronouncements often fail to see how we participate in the think we often criticize. His illustration is geo-politics, terrorism and a global culture. It is not hard to draw the parallel. We can rail at the world for its current condition. We may adopt an unhealthy fatalism that suggests "that's just the way it is." We can distance ourselves from things we find objectionable.
Doing so misses the point. What would happen if we exerted as much energy practicing resurrection? What would things look like around you and me?
Take the time during this Season of Lent to celebrate the Sundays in Lent with us thinking and moving toward what it means to practice resurrection.