Unity: the state of being united or joined as a whole; a thing forming a complex whole. I like this word when it refers to Christians, or a local body of the church, or the visible church worldwide. We are united into a complex whole by Christ. "For as we have may members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ and individually members of one another." (Romans 12:4-5 NKJV) Unity is something God does and a gift he gives. When Christians have it, it is a beautiful thing.
Uniform: of a similar form or character to another or others. This word often describes the expectation within Christian groups, churches, organizations. This is not what God defines as the body of Christ. He specifically says that we are different with differing gifts and functions. We are to be thankful for the fact that we are all different. We do not all need to classically educate at day schools, we do not all need to be home educating, we do not all need to wear dresses all the time, we do not all need to be intellectuals, we do not all need to be exactly the same. We do need to take our gifts and serve one another and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, graciously. Unfortunately as Christians we seem better at wanting uniformity and being drawn to those who are like ourselves and being threatened by those who are not. But God wants us to delight in unity, not uniformity.
----posted by Queen Lucy
Monday, August 15, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
As C.S.Lewis put it in the introduction to "Mere Christianity", we are in a room now and not living in the hall anymore. But the room does not have a fire, and meals are served cold, and there are limited chairs. It is not my favorite room.
My idea of what the room should look like and the atmosphere within are very different from the reality of where we are. I think there should be warmth, kindness, welcoming spirits, hospitality, love. Love is supposed to be the defining characteristic of Christians after all, isn't it? Love that someone can see? Know? Grab onto with their hands? Understand from not words alone but deeds? Deeds like loving one another fervently? Without dissimulation? With considering the other person's interests more important than our own? So what do you do if it is not there, but the room does have truth even if it is served on a cold platter?
I am not surprised by this room. I have been there before. The tenets of the community are very well defined. This room has rules of behavior and some of those rules include mocking, disdaining and scorning in conversation, in literature, and in attitudes home educators. Well that is one strike against me and my family. (There are others....)
When we lived in this room before, we expended all the effort to reach out, to invite to our home, to make connections with the rest of the inhabitants. They would grace us with their presence, but not once then and with one exception now (the pastor), none have shown hospitality to us. I do wonder why God has us in this room. What am I to learn? I know from past experience that any example of reaching out is not going to go anywhere.
So, we honor God by formal worship every Lord's Day, we eat at His table, we benefit from the teaching, we listen to Psalms played at chipmunk speed, we do our duty to please God, not men. And we wait until God works here or takes us to another room.
---posted by Queen Lucy
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Devotions from a blessed monthly prayer time:
The goal of our life, our Christian life, is maturity. It is NOT personal peace and prosperity. It is NOT happiness. No, the goal of our life and the goal for our husband's life and our children's lives and our friend's lives and our church body's life is spiritual maturity. And whatever God deems needful to bring us to maturity, that He will do.
For us to understand this we need to "eat the mystery" as Ann Voskamp puts it in her book, 1000 Gifts. "When we find ourselves groping along, famished for more, we can choose. When we are despairing, we can choose to live as Israelites gathering manna. For forty long years, God's people daily eat that which is baffling. They fill on that which has no meaning. More than 14,600 days they take their nourishment form that which they don't comprehend. They find soul-filling in the inexplicable. They eat the mystery. and the mystery, that which made no sense, is "like wafers of honey" on the lips." (see pages 21-22 of Ann's book)
Here is some of my mysteries, that which is baffling and makes no sense to me:
---a faithful woman of God, who is elderly, and God gives her a husband who neglects her care or nurture, a man who chases off around the world to spread his "Christian" book and its message, and does not lay his life down for that woman
---faithful daughters who honor and obey God and their parents, who God still leaves without mates; while many unfaithful daughters, man-hunting daughters are given husbands, children, and homes (and they still complain)
---Christian parents with huge covenantal blessings and material goods, refusing to bless or share with their children what God has bestowed. Who demand that their 13 year old pay for everything or send their 16 year old out to fend for themselves, while the parents continue to enjoy God's blessings and kindness.
---church bodies that have reverent liturgy and true doctrines but are cold, inhospitable to others in their midst. Who hold the truth in unrighteousness yet pat themselves on the back for their spiritual maturity.
---God giving children to those who don't want them and either disdain children or kill them in the womb; while many who desire them cannot conceive or lose children.
---a godly man, father, husband, son, who labors around the clock to try and provide basic needs for his family struggling daily to do so; yet his ungodly, heathen brothers lead debauched lives and have more wealth than they can hold.
---faithful parents who live to see one of their children grow up to leave the faith
---Christian brothers and sisters in China, Indonesia, India, Africa, and the Middle East being killed, dragged to prison, raped, beaten, and persecuted. While we American Christians get fat and fail to build the kingdom of God fervently with what freedoms we have.
---that God loved Jacob and hated Esau.
---that God loved Jacob, Abraham, Samson, David, Solomon, Peter, Paul and even me.
---that God is mindful of us sons of Adam in any amount when He is glorious and made the stars and moon and earth and heavens and all that is in them.
---that Christ died for me, a miserable sinner.
---that Christ opened my eyes, and not those of many I know and am related to.
These are the mystery that I am to feast upon: those things which I don't comprehend, that are inexplicable, in which I am to find Christ, my daily bread. "Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity." (Hebrews 6:1, Amplified Bible) This is the goal: maturity.
---posted by Queen Lucy