Are you feeling like its hard to know what day it is at the moment? Christmas and new year can tend to throw out our routines and make it a little difficult to remember.
Routines, as the dictionary defines them is a, “Rehearsed or habitual persuasive pattern.” At this time of year we often consider our “habitual patterns.” Have you ever considered that your personal “habitual patterns” shapes what is normal for the culture of your family and our church and not just for you? I’ve been thinking about what our “routines” are as a church or what is “normal” for us because of the actions of individuals.
We are quick in our church to respond to issues in the community, its normal to see people who sacrificially give, love, pray and do for others. As I considered our “routines” and the many of you who make up our church, it caused me to consider afresh that as a church we have the treasure of heaven walking around in us.
You are God’s treasure to this world; his greatest possession. Sometimes though we have habits and routines that diminish this reality. What’s your routine response when someone compliments you or acknowledges something good in you? Are you able to accept it and reflecting on it with the Holy Spirit allow it positively shape or confirm the treasure that you are? If the answers “no” then perhaps now is a good chance to intentionally think about some new routines. The attached “New routines” is there to help you intentionally reflect on this.
Last year I swam the Pier to Pub & some other open water events. I entered early, letting the race deadline help me to set a routine of training. This year I was slow to enter and guess what, so was my training. Before you get into the year perhaps its a chance to think about routines that will help you live from Heaven to earth and not Earth to heaven (For the men can I encourage you to set aside the Monday nights in February and our “boot camp” to help set your godly routines for the year).
On Sunday I made available a handout in response to Luke chapter 21. (click HERE to download) It struck me when considering this chapter and Jesus’ prophecy of the destruction of the temple that he lived consistently with pain and suffering. Despite this he lived in complete trust in the goodness of a loving heavenly Father; that there was going to be a day when God put things right.
In contrast to Jesus many people dismiss the notion of a loving God on the basis of pain, suffering and evil. The handout that is attached is a first response to some of the questions people might have regarding pain, evil and understanding God in the midst of it.
You’ll notice that the response to these questions are questions. Why is this? By answering a question with a question two things can occur.
Firstly it causes us to have to continue to listen more carefully to their position and what may have caused them to arrive at it. This allows us to show a love and respect for people, which is more important often than the answer we give.
Second it causes the questioner to have to consider their own presuppositions or background beliefs that are the foundation of their question.
In February and early March we are going to look at some of the hard questions that people ask us when it comes to God, faith and the bible. I’d appreciate you sending me tough questions you’ve had to face or that you are asking. That would help me in my preparation.
Have a read of Luke 22 in preparation for Sunday.
Blessings for your new routines!