From the Pastor
Once upon a time there was a devout Christian who had a cat. Every morning he would get up and spend time in devotion. He read the Bible, meditated, and then prayed. This daily ritual meant a lot to him, and as time went by, his prayer sessions grew longer and more intense. The man’s cat also enjoyed these prayer times. Purring as loudly as a tractor up at Buck Motorsports Park, the cat would brush up against the man, which distracted him from his time of prayer. So, the man got a collar and a leash and began the custom of tying his cat to the bedpost before beginning his morning devotions. The cat didn’t seem to mind, and the man was able to pray undisturbed.
Time went on, and the man had a daughter who saw how meaningful these devotional times were to her father. As she established the patterns of her life, she determined that she would adopt the exact same procedure. Every morning, she got up and had her time of devotions, only in her generation, things were a little more hurried, and she did not spend as much time in prayer, but still found the time to tie the cat to the bedpost.
As time went on, she had a son who was determined to carry on the religious tradition of his mother and his grandfather. In his generation, the pace of life was so hectic that he did not really have time for any prayer and devotions. And yet, in order to carry on the family religious tradition, he got up every morning and while he dressed and got ready for work, -- he would tie his cat to the bedpost.
You get the picture? Form has a way of overcoming substance. Rituals can cloud the faith they were meant to express. So, what are our expectations as we love and worship God? Are we bounding out of bed with a high expectation of the one who made us, called us by name, and has given us the gift of salvation? Or, is our relationship with God one of rote, routine ritual? In other words, are we guilty of tying the cat to the bedpost?
As we come into June and the beginning of these summer months, let’s keep our faith fresh, vibrant and alive! Let’s not fall into the habit of mindlessly mouthing words to God, so that our faith is stagnant, static and boring. Instead, as the Apostle Paul closed his first letter to the church in Corinth, "Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, — and be strong."
Quote of the Week
"A blessed church has a strong sense of hope for the future, even during bad economic times, amid troubling world and national events, and despite congregational crises. They have a strong sense that God is with them and will make good things happen, especially if they remain faithful through struggle and turmoil. Finally, they have a strong sense of love for each other that leads them to reach out and love others, even those who are different. They don't react to failure and problems with anger, frustration or impatience, but with love. . . A blessed church is a church full of God's Trinitarian purpose, presence, and power. They expect the purpose, presence, and power of God to work everywhere in the church, blessing the ministries, missions, and members.”
"Becoming a Blessed Church" by N. Graham Standish
Pastor and author N. Graham Standish describes how a church that is open to God s purpose, presence, and power can claim God s blessing.
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