Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I was with some folks at lunch and we were talking about all sorts of things. When there was a lull, one person declared that they had a theological question for me. Through that question we got to talking about the dark times in our lives and the response of another present was that we should pray during these times. And while I certainly believe in prayer, everyday prayer, during the good and the bad, I had to acknowledge that in the dark it is sometimes hard to find the switch that would give us the resolve we need to be able to pray. There are times that the pull of the darkness is so heavy, there is no way to get our souls in a place that they can look to heaven and talk to God, even when God is right there with us. I would also agree that these are the times that we especially need to pray, that prayer needs to come from a place of obedience and not just because we feel like it, or feel that we are heard. But more than anything, what I heard God saying to and through me today was that during these times of darkness that is what the church is for. When we are not able to lift ourselves up to God, then we must trust others to lift us up to him for us. I know that this is hard, to admit that we can’t find the switch on our own, but we must. And we must consider the alternative, what if we didn’t have anyone to pray for us. If you read that and think, I don’t have anyone to pray for me, am I missing out? I would tell you yes, yes you are certainly missing out. People sometimes like to get down on church, the politics, the ornery people, and the very unJesuslikeness that it is sometimes. And yes, those things suck, and those things maybe shouldn’t be, but they are and the alterative is much worse. To have no one to pray for us, that is not an enviable place. As best as is possible, I pray that for you, you are able to let the church be the church.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


(This post was actually written in mid-August, just getting to post it now)
I obviously haven’t posted lately. That’s a product of a couple things. Between getting the house ready for sale and transitioning into pastoral ministry at a new church there hasn’t been much time. I am also debating on the best use of my blog now that life circumstances have changed so much. Still working on that.
I had both a wedding and a funeral this week (two completely separate events, although the groom did come close to passing out from the heat). The funeral was my first and in talking to people about it this week I got to thinking about eulogies and wondering if they will last in my generation. I guess what I mean is that it just seems so odd to have a pastor that may not have known a person very well give the defining statement of who that person was and what their life amounted to at the end of life. While I wouldn’t mind having a pastor that knows me well, which in my case there might be one or two, give the eulogy, it just seems rather unauthentic to have someone that didn’t know much about me have such a task. I certainly understand why it is the norm, often those that are closest to the deceased are very emotional at the service and it is a fitting way to honor that person. I do wonder with my generation’s premium on authentic relationship if the pastoral eulogy will be a thing of the past, in exchange for emotional loved ones sharing from the heart.
So here’s my request for an eulogy: I would like someone (or more than one) to share about the real me. Don’t get up there and make me sound all saintly. Tell about the time that I really made you mad, hurt your feelings, didn’t make it any better when I could have. Tell about the times that I changed your life for the good, made you laugh, scratch your head, about how strange I could be. I hope that this person might also share that they saw Christ in me. Despite all the crazy, messed up, broken parts of me, I hope more than anything to be defined by Christ’s light shining through me.
I guess that last part is something for me to work on while I’m still alive.