A Name on the Wall
August 25, 2019
A few years ago, Pastor John Kramp was painting the guest bedroom in his new house. As the paint dried, something strange appeared on the wall. The name John began appearing around the top of the wall, like some supernatural border written by an invisible hand. John and his wife, Lynn Marie, immediately thought of the story of King Belshazzar in the book of Daniel. King Belshazzar defiled some holy objects from the temple in Jerusalem, so God condemned him to a horrible end. And Belshazzar learned of his awful fate from handwriting that appeared suddenly on a wall.
Fortunately, this strange occurrence in the Kramp household did not turn out to be a message from God. It seems that the previous home owners had a daughter who was dating a boy named John. In a burst of teenage exuberance, she had written her beloved’s name all around her walls with a dark marker. Her parents had painted over the name, but for some reason the marker bled through the new coat of paint.
This week I will be preaching about what name bleeds through in our life. Perhaps it is a nickname we picked up in our childhood or a name given to us as less than endearing term to put us in ‘our place’. Whatever that name is what does it say about us and how the world perceives us? Yet, we have been given a new name when we received a new identity.
Join me Sunday and I will share that name for each of us and encourage us to let that name bleed through in all we are about. See you in worship Sunday!
Grace & Peace,
August 4, 2019
The primary concern of the monks at Mepkin Abbey is serving God. The mission is reinforced daily by tasks and rituals that are both sacred and mundane: the 3:20 a.m. church service, the Grand Silence from 8 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., even the shoveling of chicken manure into compost piles.
Everything that the monks do demonstrates their divine service and strengthens their community.
Compassion is the key to the monks' harmony. "Even the just man falls seven times a day," says Brother Callistus Crichlow, 51, a former Wall Street computer technician. "If you believe that, you forgive others for their failings."
Sometime we develop a disorder commonly known as ‘scrupulosity’ in our walk of discipleship. What is ‘scrupulosity?' It is defined as "an obsessive concern with one's own sins and compulsive performance of religious devotion.” Scrupulosity can actually deplete our compassion.
When we catch scrupulosity we find ourselves drained trying to live a perfect live of devotion without sin. We find ourselves judging not only ourselves, but others by compulsive perfection.
This Sunday I will explore how we can avoid this pit fall that is all too common and become more compassionate as we walk with the diverse disciples of Jesus.
See you in worship!
Grace & Peace,