There is a slowness to the winter sunrise An unhurried separation of the darkened sky and shadowed land Purple and yellow and orange and red spread their blurring edges like a healing bruise A spilling of paints on a table of dark blue
“We are ghosts or we are ancestors in our children’s lives. We either lay our mistakes and our burdens upon them, and we haunt them as ghosts. Or, we assist them in laying those old burdens down, and we free them from the chains of our own flawed behavior, and as ancestors, we walk alongside of them, assisting them to find their own way, and some sense of transcendence.”
It explained why I would come home after multiple church services on a Sunday with a level of exhaustion that I couldn’t even begin to describe. Not just tired, soul level exhausted. It explained why my true friendships were few in numbers and were all with people I had known for decades. I have always been a guy with hundreds of genuinely fond acquaintance relationships and very few friendships. It explained my anxiety around situations and scenarios with lots of strangers where I had to mingle and not where I got to have the relative position of safety of being the pastor guy on stage. It explained a lot of my self-loathing that I put myself through because I wasn’t more fun as a hang, or why I couldn’t be more winsome and charming in conversation. It explained … my life.
Some Christians have extended the idea of total depravity morphing it into a form of utter depravity, staining even some good things in the world, things that can be celebrated and enjoyed, with sin’s brush of joylessness and brokenness. I have certainly been guilty of this, and it shows all too often in my countenance and approach to some of life’s simple pleasures and enjoyments.
Faithfulness to God leaks into relationships with people. The way we love God has to spill into the way we treat the people that He has made. The Golden Rule of Jesus isn't hard to understand, but it does prove quite difficult to apply.
This sermon was preached at the Downtown PM service at The Austin Stone. Audio and video from the sermon are available here. Matthew 5:38-42 – “Cheek Turning, Tunic Giving, Two Mile Going Grace” Intro: Evening, if you have your bibles, Matthew 5:38 is where we will be. Continuing in our study of The Gospel According to... Continue Reading →