May 30, 2013

Lines (8)

Continuing notes from "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction"

Chapter 8    Joy   Psalm 126

pg 92  "Joy is not a requirement of Christian discipleship, it is a consequence."   Boy do I like that idea!

pg 95  "Joy has a history.  Joy is the verified, repeated experience of those involved in what God is doing."  This is one I can attest to personally... I find deep joy when I realize that I have been blessed to be involved in something that has Kingdom value.

pg 96  "One of the most interesting and remarkable things that Christians learn is that laughter does not exclude weeping.  Christian joy is not an escape from sorrow." 
Joy is what God gives - not what we work up.
The joy that develops in the way of Christian discipleship doesn't come from feeling good about yourself - it comes from knowing God and seeing that His ways are dependable and his promises true.

Chapter 9  Work  Psalm 127

pg 104  "The main difference between Christians and others is that we take God seriously and they do not."  Or at least we should be taking Him seriously!
Paying attention to God involves a realization that He works.  Genesis begins with this information - He created, He made something, He did something. Genesis 1 is a journal of work by God.

pg 105 Christian discipleship, by orienting us in God's work and setting us in the mainstream of what God is already doing, frees us from the compulsiveness of work.  Our work goes wrong when we become frantic and compulsive (Tower of Babel anyone?) and also when we become indolent & lethargic (Thessalonica).
The foundational truth is that work is good.  Work has dignity: there can be nothing degrading about work if God works (& we know He does). Work has purpose: there can be nothing futile about work if God works.

pg 106  In Christ, we learn to work in a way that does not center around the acquiring of things, but that responds to God and builds relationships. "People are at the center of Christian work."

pg 107 Such work can be done anywhere if we learn to pay attention to and to practice what God is doing ~ in love & justice, in helping & healing, in liberating & cheering.
"Psalm 127 insists on a perspective in which our effort is at the periphery and God's work is at the center."