Sunday, August 28, 2011

Home from church

The service today at St. Peter's was full of zingers. First the congregational prayer zapped me:

I have struggled to walk faithfully with You and I have not made friends with the foolish, nor do I socialize with the deceitful.... You ask us to love one another and show each other honor. You tell us to be zealous, faithful and serving You in all things. But You know me, O God. You have heard my spiteful words, my judgment of others but not myself. You know how selfish and stingy I have been with money, time and talents. 

And then the second lesson was from Romans 12.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor... Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.... Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.
More ouch.

And then the sermon, which you can hear for yourself if you want to here.

And finally the hymns. Like Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross and Rock of Ages.

I felt like the whole thing was meant to grab me by the scruff of the neck and give me a little shake, because I am not accomplishing these things. I'm so glad I went to church. I'm not glad every week. Sometimes I feel dragged down, not by the service but by my conflicts with a very few of my fellow church members. Today's sermon turned me back toward looking at what I am doing wrong, rather than what they might be doing wrong. I needed that.

In other news, over at Christ Community Evangelical Free Church, our friend Rinda (name altered slightly to protect the guilty) drove the church car on a ladies' outing. And bumped it. Just a tiny bit. Anyway, this week, she opened her bulletin and followed along with the printed hymn lyrics in the bulletin - and then came to this neatly printed addition:
Our pastor drives a beat-up car
Just an old tin-canner.
Worse today than yesterday
Thanks to Rinda Danner.
In closing, I'd like to ask you to pray for my cyberfriend Felisol. Last I heard (which was last night our time), she was waiting at her mother's bedside, as her mother completes her days in this life and moves into the next. She has faith that her mother is saved and will move right into the arms of the Savior, but goodbyes are still hard, and she needs strength for the vigil. May God bless Felisol and her whole family.


Mo Harris said...

I needed to hear this today too. I often disappoint myself in my faithlessness. Romans is one of my very favorite books, especially chapter 7, because I know that even Paul struggled as I do.

Catherine said...

Your post sure hit home. Romans is one of my favorite books too.

That bit about the church car was very funny. Loved it!

Felisol said...

Dear Maria,
Thanks for praying. God is awake on his throne, and he's listening.
My mother is now staying with Gunnar and me (she's got Serina's room), and nurses are coming by 5 times a day.
It's called palliative nursing, but my mother is getting better day by day, so there's no obvious close ending to this story.
Man predicts, but God verdicts.
We are learning an important lessen about living one day at a time, and that the daily manna is sufficient to us.
I often think that I do not have strength to go through this, but then again; I do not have strength not to do it either.
His grace is enough.
All prayers are welcomed and very much appreciated.
From Felisol