#ashwednesday is for….

Ash Wednesday is for when all four of your checks hit after the bank closes but before you can put your husband’s check in, including the really big rent check, and they therefore all BOUNCE!

Ash Wednesday is for your four year old child throwing up all over the house, and not quite getting the try to aim for the bowl or the toilet concept

Its for your special needs kid being better focused in class, even as you worry about his continual bad smell

Its for losing your voice on the night the pastor has to lead service

Its for your eldest who is struggling to concentrate getting a good email from the teacher.

 

Ash Wednesday is to lay out your whole self before God

To confess yourself, not to feel ashamed, but to be able to see yourself as God’s beloved

The very act of owning  who you are and your reality, the act of being you as God’s, frees you to be reflective of God.

I confess myself and seek God…because to me, they are the same thing….

Ps 34:4-5  I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
5Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.

http://www.mbird.com/2009/06/theologian-of-glory-vs-theologian-of/

Ok, so according to this I am more a theologian of the glory than a theologian of the cross…sad day…wonder if these terms should be more of a balance (its the mainline thing, I like compromise)

Thoughts? Its def. a good reframing, but I’m trying to figure out the truth of it (I tend to take preaching the Good news part of my job very seriously)

Why is Christianity uncomfortable: Love defined

Christianity is not, “Smile Jesus loves you”–anyone who says that is probably selling you on Christ (so to speak)

Last Sunday’s Scripture included one of my favorites from Revelation

Revelation 7:9-17

9After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10They cried out in a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12singing, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

One thing I always testify to is my absolute belief that at the end of the world every knee shall bow to Christ. I don’t know exactly how, but I have faith in Christ that it WILL happen (again do not ask me the why and wherefores, I leave those technicalities to the boss).

I don’t think Christianity is about guilt, I don’t think its my job to convert people and I think that God is ultimately merciful when She sits in judgment. (AGAIN NOTE THE LACK OF JUDGMENT IN ALL OF THIS: IF CHRISTIANITY FEELS JUDGMENTAL YOU MIGHT BE ATTENDING THE WRONG CHURCH)

However, I do know that God loves EACH and EVERY one of us. The Good News of Jesus Christ is not that God loves everybody, but God loves each and every person, with all of their warts and faults and encourages us to do the same–that is the uncomfortable and “not feel good” of Christianity, for Christ’s love calls us to practice a love that is equal to God’s, to practice grace worthy of the Holy Spirit and to be as merciful as God.

In the end, we will all know God’s love, we will all accept ourselves and each other for who we truly are, and in the end we will not be able to help but to bow to God and praise her, crying Glory, Power and Might be our God–for what is more powerful than love!

Shannon A Thompson

Author. Speaker. Librarian.

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