Wednesday, August 24, 2016
“All men complain that they haven’t enough time. They look
at their lives from too human a point of view. There is
always time to do what God wants us to do, but we
must put ourselves completely into each
moment that He offers us…
Time is a gift,
a perishable gift,
a gift that does not keep…
I am not asking You tonight, Lord, for time to do this and then that,
but Your grace to do conscientiously, in the time that
You give me, what You want me to do.”
Abbe Michel Quoist
“If you’re having problems with your watch,
don’t look at the hands. Look deeper!”
“What’s deep in the well comes up in the bucket.”
Using the technical language of America’s devolving culture, my schedule sucks.
Parenthetically, there are those who are more concerned about me using the word sucks than they are concerned that America’s psychospiritualsociopoliticoeconomics increasingly suck.
Freudian…as well as pathetically proprietary.
There doesn’t seem to be enough time to satisfy the insatiable demands for pounds of my flesh.
Don’t get me wrong.
I’m not that hot; just available…unlike young’uns or geezers who confuse Beruf with job and think a call to undershepherding is a neat 40-hour workweek with multiple days off.
Anyway, not too long ago, I was completing rounds in a nursing home; and as I was about to hit the exit, I was asked if I would “give communion” to someone who was dying.
Providentially, I had one handy-dandy-pre-filled-communion-bread-and-cup left.
So I did.
It took 15 minutes.
He died not long after that.
Knowing the sacrament is a mystery and miracle exceeding the intentions of the messenger to increase intimacy yielding increasing strength, safety, security, and serenity, I wasn’t surprised to hear, despite those mere 15 minutes, of the salvific feelings and confidence that overcame the inevitabilities for the fellah and his family.
From that time on, I’ve paid more attention to making time when asked; even when I’m, uh, busy with my schedule that…
As I reflect on those 15 minutes, it never dawned on me to ask if the guy was a member of my church or a connected church or a recognized church or a…
I know there are denominationally jingoistic pastors who will not “give communion” to anyone who ain’t a member of their church.
I just can’t imagine Jesus asking those kinda questions and putting up those kinda fences.
I get mad and sad and mad and sad and mad and sad when I think of churches that won’t “give communion” to people who ain’t members of their religious clubs; convinced Jesus would never say, “You may be dying…or really hungry and thirsty for a relationship with Me…or ready to receive Me into your heart…or whatever,…but, I can’t/won’t welcome you to the table because you’re just not a member of…Sorry, you read wrong in John 3 and elsewhere. I don’t…”
I think back over 35 years ago when I was called to a hospital in Edison, New Jersey not long after midnight because a baby died in the womb after strangling on the umbilical cord.
I was asked if I would baptize the baby.
When I shared that with some franchise pastors, I was lectured on all kinds of extra-Biblical esoteric ideology masquerading as theology and told I could be brought up on charges if the wrong people aka denominational jingoists heard about it.
I said, “Go for it.”
BTW, those same pastors lectured and ridiculed and threatened me when I said I baptize anybody who wants to be baptized as long as they say they’re ready to invite Jesus into their hearts as Lord and Savior and pray and try to follow Him by the book.
No, I don’t ask if they were baptized as babies or if they were ever dipped, dripped, dabbed, or dunked in some other religious club.
From my understanding of the Greek word for baptism, the most important thing about it is to be dyed for Him or marked off for Him or changing the colors of allegiance/affection for Him or…
Something like that.
Again, I can’t imagine Jesus saying, “Nope! Can’t do it! I know you’re ready to receive Me into your heart as Lord and Savior and pray and try to follow Me, but, nope, not sorry, can’t do it…You’re not a member of the right religious club and…”
Luther taught me to say authentically, “If you can show me how I’m wrong by Jesus, Holy Scripture, and common sense, I will confess, repent, and beg forgiveness. But if you can’t do that, don’t bother me with your auto-suggested ideology masquerading as theology. If He didn’t say it and it’s not in the book, your guess is as good as mine; and knowing He always acted more like an agape lover than Pharisee, I’ll roll the dice with what I know about Him rather than what you make up about Him.”
I’ve made lots of mistakes in my ministry.
But I don’t think it’s been because I’m trying to insult God or injure people.
I’m not trying to keep anyone out that He says over and over and over that He wants in.
I’m trying to love Him and love others to love Him with the divine revelation of Jesus by the book as my only absolutely authoritative guide.
Usually, when I hurt Him and His, it’s because I don’t take those 15 minutes that last a…
Blessings and Love!