Happy 4th of July. Yep, I said it. This week I've come to realize that whatever I've been holding onto for this holiday to have an indifferent-to-negative meaning for me...isn't worth it. The good points far outweigh the bad, so happy 4th. Do something productive...nah, wait until tomorrow.
Chris T. at Even the Devils Believe further explains why he thinks the proposed Episcopalian two-tier system (read: split) is a good thing. He raises an important issue about denominational loyalty vs. relationship at the Eucharist. That part is good for those against the proposal to hear.
Bob Hyatt shares a dream he had about his church. He also speaks of denominational loyalty...but not very positively (maybe an understatement). I think that one reason I enjoy reading Bob.blog so much is because he's on the front lines of a new church plant...which is an exciting place to be in general. I mean, how bored can one really be in an environment like that?
While piecing together my preaching plans for the rest of the summer, I've found the lectionary generally uninspiring. So last week, I preached on the parable of the soils from Mark, and this week, I'm going to Acts 17 where Paul preaches at the Areopagus, sometimes translated as Mars' Hill. There were a lot of commas in that sentence. Anyway, I'm going to focus on Paul's courage to make such outrageous claims on the steps of the area's top place of worship...perhaps what John Thomas would call 'evangelical courage.' And actually, whether he'd call it that or not, that's exactly what it is. How often do we defer to psychology when comforting a friend, or to economics when considering an important change to our church building, or to politics when taking sides on a hot-button issue? It's like the hope that is within us, the source of those same outrageous claims that Paul makes, suddenly evaporates in favor of something safer or more foolproof. It's easier or more sensible to cite practicality instead of 'because God wants us to.'
So there are some thoughts to take you through a day that is hopefully not spent in front of the computer to begin with. Enjoy the holiday.