Shaping Us Toward Monday

Useless. No doubt you understand your limitations and run up against a task for which you feel useless. Other times you find yourself deep into a project and discover that a very important tool or part is broken and as such is useless impeding completion of your work.

The Songwriter starts us off with a reflection on his own formation. What was surely improbable at one point has become valuable as it is brought to life. That is the nature of human beings. From improbable origins we are brought into being. Scientifically we may be bi-pedal carbon-based life forms. At the same time we are creative, industrious, caring, empathic, collaborative and relational. Failing to live into those features of humanity we can be destructive, lazy, insensitive, uncaring, aloof and selfish. 

Jeremiah demonstrates the usefulness and uselessness of the varied paths we choose. Employing the imagery of potter and clay he reminds that God's grand design is that we live into what is useful in carrying on His love and mercy in the world. Turning ever inward we find it hard to live into an appreciation for the other – person or group.

That which was to be useful in celebrating the wonder of God is now good for displaying the inadequacies of an alternate path.

Jesus notes the one who would live into the grace and mercy of God will take stock in what he has, who he is and renounce any way but His Way. Following Jesus is just that, following Jesus. There is no place for appending Jesus to our whims. No, being incorporated into the Way of Jesus means denying what obstructs the fulfillment of the Way of God and embodying the life of Jesus in our own.

Finally, Paul writes a letter to Philemon playing this entire scenario out.

What are your thoughts about the texts for this week?

Add them in the comments of this post.

Shaping Us Toward Monday

If you were unable to be with us this past Sunday, you may want to request the CD of Allan Karr's message. While we present the texts for the upcoming Sunday in our right sidebar, we may mistakenly communicate that what we are about is getting ready for Sunday. So, in light of that very real likelihood, we will change our posts about the texts for the coming Sunday to, "Shaping Us Toward Monday."

We hope this shift is a regular reminder we hope to be shaped by the Spirit of God through our interactions with the Scripture to live out our lives in Way of Jesus. For instance, it would be very easy for us to think a ritual is more important than a person. Jesus faced just such an instance yet again in the Luke passage for this week. He healed on the Sabbath and the boundary keepers could not tolerate their "day" being denigrated in that way.

Jesus' retort was to suggest the in-congruency that a day set aside for honoring God would mean the neglect of people in need. He then follows with a parable that gets at the heart of our natural tendency to think only of our own advancement.

Draw in the Jeremiah passage and you get the idea the pattern is oft repeated. God's people refused the provision of God and instead dug cisterns of their own, those that would not hold water. They both shunned the living water of God and failed to provide for their own needs. Relaying the words of God, the prophet suggests these actions represented two evils.

How would you draw in the passage from Hebrews? The Psalms?

As you are reading the texts for the coming Sunday, keep Monday in view. for it is Monday that tells what influence the Way of Jesus has really had and is having on us.

Jesus invites people into his life and his way. He takes what is and points to the new way of the Kingdom of God.  Come see what this journey is all about!

One way to think about the mission of Jesus - He calls into question the way things are and points to the way things may be in the Kingdom of God. 

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