The Sunday Lesson

On most Sundays, I publish a short Sunday Lesson. It’s usually nothing more than an observation or an idea or an application from something I’m studying. I feel deeply blessed and deeply responsible for writing this. I schedule the posts to publish at 1:35. Don’t worry about the time: you can sign up to receive notification any time I publish something. Just enter your email address into the yellow bar at the top of any screen. I’m up for all comments and try to respond to them all. Be forewarned that I reserve Sundays for my family. It’s a work in progress, but a goal we’re growing into. So, if I don’t respond, I’m probably playing chess with my daughter or watching lousy TV with my wife. On an outstanding day, I might catch a couple innings of Braves baseball. With my wife, of course. It’s Sunday.

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COVID – Glad to be done…

I don’t need to say it but I will: COVID has kicked everything to pieces. Many of us still wear masks at work and build our schedule around teammates who are sick or taking care of loved ones. People bicker like children about freedom and why the government does this or that. We can’t go to stores as we choose, and I’ve just started going to the bookstore again, after my vaccination and a blessing from the CDC. For a few months, I thought I might have to read the dozen books I bought last time I went to the bookstore. In short, we – at least in America – are living as if we’re not G’s chosen people, able to freely do whatever we damn well feel like doing whenever we feel like it. Lots of us mimic a petulant four-year-old.

 

Reading the Psalms

That being said, I’m reading through the Bible now in chronological order, using the Blue Letter Bible site’s Daily Bible Reading Program: Chronological Plan. It’s fun and insightful to read the Psalms and minor books in order alongside the backbone books of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Today, I read a Psalm, and it had a quip that applied directly to me. I complained with a coworker yesterday, and he agreed: my gosh, we are ready for COVID to go home and to get back to normal life. He’s in the same susceptible demographic I am and agreed that he was tired of the whole thing. We did a poor job comforting each other: “Only another year to go,” I guessed. “Hmm. Hope so,” he sighed.

Then I read this passage this morning:

“Bad news holds no fears for him,
Firm is his heart, trusting in Yahweh.
His heart holds steady, he has no fears,
Till he can gloat over his enemies.”

Strong words from a man who often prayed for protection from his enemies.

But this spoke to me. I had an issue at work this week. Not from an enemy, but just a lousy week when a few things I was sure would go right, went wrong. Because of me.

But here is a verse to take home, to write on the inside of your wrist. Bad news holds no fears. Let’s be honest here: this in no way guarantees a winning lotto ticket or a safe ride home on bald tires in the snow, or a negative cancer test. Nothing in the verse says that G protects you against any of the millions of pieces of bad news we might hear. It’s simply an observation that, for the person whose heart is firmly set on trusting the Father, there is no fear in bad news because we know who holds the ultimate keys to history, both personal and corporate.

 

The Message

What’s the take-home message?

That’s easy: trust in G as the author of your history. As easy as it sounds, it’s contrary to our nature and enormously difficult. But a worthy goal to pray about, ponder, and grab hold of in whatever measure you can. Every day I ask for a bigger scoop. Be careful about what you ask for, though; learning and maturity come through struggle. Remember the words of Jesus: every branch that bears fruit, He prunes to make it bear even more.”

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I hope you’ll pass this message along and follow the site. You can do so in the pop-up or in the yellow bar at the top of any page. That way, you’ll receive an email whenever I post something. Be forewarned: when time allows, I post a lot. You go also go here to read about what I do and why I do it.

By way of explanation, I label myself as an agnostic Christian. I attend a Southern Baptist church and am comfortable with Roman Catholic and Orthodox theology and all kinds of Protestant thought. For Bibles, I generally use the Jerusalem Bible, the English Standard Version, and the Amplified Bible. A favorite verse is Micah 6:8 where the prophet says:

G has already told you what is right and what to do: do what is right, love loyalty, and walk humbly with G.

Selah and Blessings!