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Ever get tired being the strong, silent type? Always going the extra mile for others but getting nothing in return, then acting like it's no big deal. What bigger type of hypocrite is there?Wow. By this definition, Jesus would be the greatest hypocrite of all! A silent lamb led to the slaughter, going the extra mile for sinners, getting nothing in return, and then "acting like it's no big deal" by forgiving those for whom he died, those whose sin nailed Him to the cross.
This morning I thought maybe I could put that little piece of bread they give you at communion in my mouth. Mistake. Stayed up front and played the rest of the service [he is a musician] so no water and by the end of the service, I had a soggy lump in my mouth I just couldn't swallow. Made me reflect a bit on that situation. Do I get frustrated with how hard it is to eat? You bet. Do I get angry or discouraged? Heck no. I view it like most things in my life. The parameters within which I operate are given to me and simply are. They are neutral. It's totally up to me how I deal with it. I can be angry and bitter that it takes so much effort just to eat. Or I can rejoice in the fact that I can eat and am able to get the sustenance I need, or anything between. But it is my choice. I CHOOSE to focus on how thankful I am that I am able to eat rather than CHOOSE to become bitter and angry that it is more difficult for me than most people.Just as this gentleman reflected on his situation, I am trying to process that "hypocrite" statement. When, in faith, we love and serve our neighbor (as we are commanded by God to do), when we go the extra mile for others, we are supposed to do it expecting nothing in return. If then, after serving and expecting nothing, we truly act as if it is no big deal (and think the same thing), we aren't hypocrites. We are, in faith, choosing an attitude of love toward others and an attitude of thankfulness toward God for the opportunity to serve Him by serving our neighbor. We have, in faith, demonstrated the love of God in Christ to another human being. How can that be hypocritical?
Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years... --- Genesis 1:14Time helps us make sense of our lives: minutes and hours order our days, weeks and months order our years, and years mark the passage of a lifetime. We are, in fact, born into a time-based existence, born one day and living until we die.
For the children God has given (and, in accordance with His wishes, will give) to my wife and me, that they may always cherish being a part of God's story.Now I seriously doubt that, at age 51, my husband and I will be adding to our immediate family, but I do volunteer with a homeschool group, the children from which I sometimes think of as "my kids." It was for them, and for my own enlightenment, that I put the aforementioned book on my wish list at all. Being Lutheran, and living (as I do) with a church musician, I have experienced the ordering of my days, as Mr. Curtis puts it, since I was a small child. Sadly, most of the "Bible church" and Reformed Christians I know don't seem to understand a lot about the liturgical calendar or about the enriched perspective it can bring to life in a hectic culture. Generally speaking, these folks tend to associate the tradition of following the liturgical calendar with the Catholic Church and, therefore, eschew any involvement with it, oftentimes counting it as non-Biblical or idolatrous. True on the first count, but many teaching tools that are used in the Church, such as a catechism, are extra-Biblical. As for idolatrous...well, for me, that is a matter of individual faith and focus. For one Christian, following the liturgical calendar may become a stumbling block; for another, it may provide an ordering principle that will help deepen relationships with God and other believers.