Succession Planning and St. Matthias
Old Wisdom

Three Thoughts from an Impatient Soul

3 ideas
Only One About Impatience
I am a dues-paying member of the impatient club. I get impatient with myself, with individuals, with slow service, with shoddy service, with life, and sometimes, with God. I get impatient when people's attitudes don't turn on a dime, when people don't see the world the way I see it (and think that God does), when people are impatient with me, and with about anything else I have the capacity to be impatient with ...
Lack of funds ...
Criticism ....
My own critical spirit ...
Long lines ...
People just being human and flawed ...
My own flaws ....
With technology ...
With lack of technology ...
When technology out-guesses me ...
When technology does not know what I am thinking ...
Injustice ...
Justice without mercy ...
It is a lose/lose situation and, when I am most impatient, it looks like I have lots of enemies stacked up against me.
I can name many ... and most are headquartered in my head. My club dues are paid .
The dues are priced very high.
I can pray/sing with the psalmist the same prayer/song he prayed/sang. It is sometimes a hurried prayer for God to hurry. I just pray that I come to the same point of resolution. Amen.
There is a purpose statement buried in these words - a purpose for our final third or fourth of life:
"... until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come..."
We may have entered the time when we are not primarily building our own ministries and legacies, but those of the next generations. In many ways, that is always the case at every stage of life ... but it becomes more of a priority as we age.
We say, "but I am not done building our own," and God says, "It never was your own in the first place."
That becomes clearer with the years.
It never was mine to build for myself.
And then, there comes great joy in proclaiming to another generation.
That is where I want to invest the next phase of my existence on this planet.
" O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come.
Your righteousness, O God,
reaches the high heavens.
You who have done great things,
O God, who is like you?
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again.
You will increase my greatness
and comfort me again."
(Psalm 71:17-21 ESV)
Who Defends God?
God is perfectly capable of defending God's own honor. We struggle with it. We can't even agree on what it is. We are multi-polar in our emPHASes.
We are indignant when the world does not give proper respect to the things we revere. We protest to God and we wrestle with it in His presence. In the end, we land where the end, we land where the psalmist landed, "God's got this."
We have been in just as perilous times and worse before. If we really study history from more than just our own perspective or the perspective of our own group, we can see that. There have been many dark days and many wicked rulers, but none have ultimately prevailed.
So, weep, wail, and work for righteousness, but understand that, in the end, God's got this.

The Color of Love

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

This verse colors everything. It defines a perspective and provides a lens for viewing a reality that is God's and that God calls us to use as our own.

It is the first verse we learned as children and the one that remains dearest to our hearts. It is the gospel in a verse. It is so familiar that it is tempting to treat it as trite.

It is a glimpse into the very heart of God and it deeply informs our understanding of His purposes and ways.

We were taught to insert our names in place of “the world.” This morning, I would encourage you to insert your neighbors’ names as well as your own.

Any Christian worldview must acknowledge how God sees lost, wandering, hopeless, and bitter humanity. They are the objects of His relentless and unfailing love. The extent to which He will go to redeem is shown in the life and death of Jesus. If you and I have been invited to join Him in His work and vision, it must include such love of those who are called “the lost.”

We cannot pass it off as theoretical or poetic.

God’s love is gutsy, giving, and gregarious. His call is to share His love with the open invitation to all to receive and believe. Visualize an individual, family, or neighborhood where people live. See the faces and view them through the eyes of Jesus. Imagine their lives changed by His liberating love and grace. Ask God what part you play in actively and sacrificially loving them.

If we say that we desire the very heart of God to beat within us, we must love people who have been wounded and broken on the wheel of life as James Thurber described it. If we would be holy and consecrated people, we must filter our judgments and choices through that love. If we have any hope of becoming Christ-like, it will be as this love flows through us.

John 3:16-21:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God."