Monday, December 8, 2014


Every now and then there are yet those middle-age folk who approach me recalling all the songs we shared in some sort of children’s ministry thirty-some years ago. When they do, my thoughts turn to the elderly gentleman who always encouraged me and my other two siblings to participate in events that his church sponsored. In visiting him more than two decades later, after finally coming to Christ and all excited in my salvation, I found him no longer among the brethren, wrestling with alcohol and no longer that enthused about spiritual matters. Not so with me; but time has undeniably altered much in so far as the “soil in which I was originally planted” and, no doubt, in this old rutabaga as well. If my roots are still firmly anchored in Christ and thankfulness fills my heart for the experience gained with this original bunch of believers, though, it still must be said that theology now separates us in a few areas, outreach pulls me elsewhere, and the relationship we once knew is not quite the same. The pastor preached yesterday morning from Luke 6:6, entitling his sermon “Jesus Wants to Get into Your Synagogue”. It drew maybe three to the altar for prayer afterwards, none of them, seemingly, in any sort of response to what had been said; but his words did register with me, causing consideration of my own condition. He had pointed to the idea of each of us, within our own personal temple, creating, as the Jews did, an expanded version of the Gospel as we go; and the Holy Ghost within us, as the “mind of Christ” trying now to span the gulf between our “belly” and our “head”. All too often, what happens, he said, was “having invited Him into the one, we shut the door to the other. Good analogy, in my opinion, and well worth self-examination. There is much, truthfully, with which I grapple, if not with an addiction acquired, most certainly with myself in other ways. While assured that He did, indeed, take up residence with me more than four decades past and that such addition to who I am as a person has undeniably changed me greatly, this old man has known from the start that those other pieces of my identity, MY spirit, MY soul, MY humanity, went nowhere. It’s always been a stumble down the path and a question of how often and how much, not just an invitation was kept open for Him to step into my sanctuary, but also how often and how much I visited His……

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