25 May 2020

Sunday night, writing Monday’s lectionary post, with the knoweledge that I was late this morning, and there was no poetry. But blogging is a hobby. It was more important to get to church, though it remains online.

For the chief aim of Man is to Know God and enjoy him forever. It is not to complete the SMART goals of the day. And it is in worship that we clearly glorify God: one reason why this world hates churches and keeps them closed — or with no more than 10 people in them, though the pubs are now open.

For the glory of the LORD is feared by the world, and it has always been feared.

Leviticus 9:22-24

22 Then Aaron lifted up his hands towards the people and blessed them, and he came down from offering the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings. 23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.

There are those who would say that I have bad taste in worship music, and that some of their leaders speak error. They miss the point. All theology is an approximation of truth, and if we can avoid full error we do good. Besides, the fact I use them for worshiping God does not in any way mean that I am approving of people I do not know or churches I am not affiliated with.

Fuel for worship if rare in this fallen time, and I take it where I find it.

What we find at times is that we are in trouble: most often because it is our own fault, but sometimes because our spirit is that of Christ, and it will offend the demons of this age.

And sometimes the rain does not come, or a plague arrives, and we suffer as does our nation. What then?

Peter lived through such. He wrote little, as he preferred to preach and teach verbally. But he gives us a strong hint — at times we suffer unto death, and at that point we are in Christ, and our life has born witness to him. We are truly done with sin if that is the burden we have taken.

And in the meantime, we are not to be distracted.

1 Peter 4:1-6

4 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. 3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.

Our preacher said that this season of lockdown should have bought us closer to God. We have not had the distractions: no fitness classes no coffees, no music, no dancing, no schools, no commute, no work. Instead we have been told to fear a virus, and we now fear for our job or the jobs of our friends. I say, too frequently, that if the pattern of history is correct, this will not end well — in previous places and in previous times it has not done so, and we are no different, or protected.

We will hurt. But God is greater than our hurt, and if we cling to him, that which we fear will be seen as a blessing. But know this: the time of suffering, like hard training, hurts like hell.

But it is needed.

For without it, we will not develop a spine, and we will converge with the other jellyfish. This is not our calling. Do not be like the elite, the craven, and their useful fools who praise their lies and call them truth. They have no ability to stand, nor endurance.

Peter is a better example.