Sunday, March 05, 2006

what's the matter with me -- and what's going to happen

Last week, NPR's All Things Considered had a lot of stories about New Orleans (and St. Bernard's Parish). A lot of people had their homes destroyed, their livelihood taken away from them... and what did I do about it?

I wrote a check. Not a real big one -- a few hundred bucks.

Then I went back to thinking about my kids' college education, and my own retirement planning.

If I were defending myself, say in court or something, I could argue on my behalf, "What else should I have done?" But that's disingenuous. I could do a lot more.

What is the matter with me? Why don't I feel more compassion for these poor people?

All that is just one example -- I could give others. So could any of us. "What a wretched man I am!" (Romans 7.24)

So what is going to happen? What could happen?

A brilliant sermon

That's what we heard this morning -- a brilliant sermon from Pastor John. He talked about how to spend an ordinary day with Jesus. He showed us a pillow and reminded us that for the Hebrews, the day starts with evening ("... and there was morning, the first day", etc. -- Genesis 1). Get enough sleep... sleep is a gift from God (Psalm 127). Thank him for the gift of sleep. You're going to go to sleep anyway; why not do it with Jesus?

I am really not doing justice to the sermon. You should go to and find the sermon (March 4-5, 2006) and take a listen. It should be there in a few days.

He went on and showed a bar of soap. We spend lots of time and energy cleaning our bodies, the outsides of them. What about getting clean on the inside? He mentioned that Jesus "loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." (Ephesians 5) That's his work and his objective. And our destiny.

And that is good news for a wretch like me.

Come to think of it, God also "chose us in him (in Jesus) to be holy and blameless before him" (Ephesians 1). That's good news too.

And with that, I'll take to bed.

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