Sunday, June 27, 2010

Infected

The Bible lessons today make me look in the mirror and shake my head. It is so hard to add anything constructive to a polarized church and world, yet the instruction is

For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

I get warned that those who practice

"enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions... will not inherit the kingdom of God."

But that's the culture - church and world - in which I live, in which I am asked to give perspective and address "issues." To say that I am immune to this would be hypocrisy.

Is there a better way? The alternative sounds like life on some other planet:

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

All of these qualities were more easily lived when I was a lay Christian. In all honesty, ordained ministry seems to keep me in the swamp, constantly bit and infected by various vectors of evil.

Anyway, I'm sleep deprived this morning. My wife is back in the hospital, the autistic kid had a seizure last night, and it feels like an effort just to let the dog go out and pee. I am so far from keeping up with the demands of this morning's lessons, yet I have to go preach on them in just a few minutes and it makes me sick.

10 comments:

Scott said...

I hope Melissa is on the mend?? Hang in there buddy!!

Anonymous said...

Many, many prayers from Tustin California. St. Stephen's loves you, we will remember you and your family in prayer this morning.

Blessings,
Linda+

A. S. Haley said...

We, too, added you and your family in our prayers this morning, Father Tim, and we shall continue until we hear better news. There is much you have to do, yes, but know that there are so many more who love and support you!

Anonymous said...

Prayers continue...

TLF+ said...

Thank you all. I think prayers were instrumental in bringing a sermon to the people today.

Georgia said...

Fr. Tim,

It is your very humble, honest and transparent (and beautiful) admission of weakness and need that qualifies you to preach and to lead others and enables GOD to pour in HIS redeeming and transforming power into your sermons and thus into the fellowship of believers you serve.

You are one of the most powerful preachers I know, because you are so real and authentic in your repentance and crying out to GOD.
HE loves it when His servants know they are powerless. He loves you and Melissa and your beautiful sons...and He is faithful and true.

I'll be praying.

Georgia

The Underground Pewster said...

Prayers ascending.

David Handy+ said...

I hope Melissa is better now. Please, keep us updated.

Yes, being the parish priest does make you a special target for the Enemy.

But as for preaching and ministering when you're running on fumes, remember Paul's example in 1 Cor. 2:1-5, coming to Corinth "in weakness" and with fear and trembling; yet God did a might work. For when we are weakest, his divine power is made most evident (@ Cor. 12:8).

Hang in there, pal.

TLF+ said...

I have to wonder if the prayer should be less about ending the duress (although I would love it to end) and more about discovering whatever it is that needs changing, or to be let go of, or to receive my full attention.

Thanks for all of the encouragement, friends. Am hanging in there in the safety ned of your prayers just now.

Anonymous said...

You, your family and congregation are in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you all.