This is just a quick post before I head off to church. It is interesting to see the difference between praying in the evening before bed, and praying as I drift off to sleep – although the Lord would probably term it babbling as I finished the “formal” prayers and then just started talking. 🙂 I actually woke up too early to stay up, so as to put wood on the fire, but I probably could have stayed awake and been fine, refreshed and aware anyway.
Today being Sunday, I actually have the day off. ‘course, if I don’t get a move on, I’ll be late to leading today’s service, so I’m off.
Sermons today were interesting (okay, so I cheated a little – it was my turn to lead so I picked the sermon, er, “reflection”, ’cause it was interesting). HT’s talked about historical probability and filled in some of the historical facts about Herod that the Bible doesn’t talk about. The take-away from it was that no matter what man’s plans are, no matter if the empires or countries rise or fall, no matter if despots determined to kill off children (Moses, Jesus) or whatever the plans are – God’s design happens. God’s kingdom moves forward. And that’s something that we can trust in.
Dovetailing that at DoH, the Pastor came up with a new meaning for backed by FDIC – Faith Deposited in Christ. Trust in God and His plan, and step forward, for *now* is the time. The sermon was actually on Psalm 119, and the Pastor challenged us to learn it and hold it hidden in our hearts. Okay, so I could do that – my choices appear to be German rap, Dutch, chanted in Hebrew or (yeah!) English. ‘course, what went through my mind in the first service was taking the concept of Psalm 119, putting it entirely into English and creating a poem with each of the 26 letters of our alphabet, in acrostic form. That could be fun. 🙂
The third service is the one I am most grateful to be able to attend! While it’s not a good thing that HT is without a priest at this point, it does mean that we no longer have to have evening services, and I can attend the services done by the Troy Ministerial Alliance, to which all the churches’ members are welcome. If going to DoH on a regular Sunday is food for the soul, going to a TMA service is a gourmet meal. These are people who are there strictly because they *want* to be there, and not because it’s Sunday and they’re expected. This is a second service for most. It’s where pastors can go and hear someone else preach, and everyone can sing. They *all* just exude the spirit – it is completely awesome (in the proper sense of that word), and a complete abnegation of what the Episcopal priest said in the video from a couple days ago. These people speak and sing *directly* to the *heart* of people, and it’s not something that’s going to go away when they walk out the door. I was talking with someone from HT about the difference in the way people pray between the two churches. If you ask someone from a liturgical church to pray for someone, they’re on a prayer list, and they will be prayed for. If you ask someone from an Evangelical Church to pray for someone, they drop everything right there, put their arm around you and Pray! Prayer is an intimate, every-day part of their lives, and not something reserved for Sundays. Now, that isn’t to say that I’d be comfortable doing that with someone – if I’m going to pray out loud, in front of others, I’m quite certain that there are prayers that I know that are much better written than *anything* I could come up with off the top of my head. Even if I have to sing it. And so, we’re back to the Mary and Martha question – which one’s correct? Both, for both are needed, each to their own capacity.
This has been a fun first portion of a week. 🙂 I am finding more of my focus on Christ and the Christian perspective – I’m uncertain if that is because of comfort level, the amount of reinforcement I get through the churches here, some of the reading on historical aspects of each of the religions or some combination. I am certainly fully drawn to Christ, but am unable to discount the concept that God wouldn’t leave His children alone for extended periods of time – we screw up far too much. Which isn’t to say that I’m unwilling to believe that other teachers/prophets/Manifestations of God in some form other than the full form of the Christ don’t exist and fulfill their own missions for God (there may be too many negatives in that for that to say what *I* think it says <grin>). In other words, I certainly do believe that Christ existed, as the full, human form of God on earth. However, that does not discount that God may have also sent – as the Pastor at DoH introduced me to the concept of the pre-incarnate – versions of or portions of His Being to *also* guide humanity – different times and places, and likely either not full forms so that they are both equal to and God in one, or some unknown or inexplicable *messenger* of God, perhaps. I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that God does tend to be logical – else religion would drive me insane. And based on logic, you don’t leave a 2-year-old, or a teenager for that matter, alone for extended periods of time. Humanity’s really not yet old enough to be trusted alone or with the car keys. And God’s a good parent. 🙂