For Lent, I am walking us through a book called Apprenticeship With Jesus. You can follow along by reading my highlights and reflections. Extensive previews of the book can be found through Google Books and Amazon, as well as eBook purchasing options.
Day 1: A Case of Theological Malpractice (Salvation is Also A Life)
– American Christianity seems to create a narrative of God in which he is nothing more than a ledger keeper of sins. This creates churches full of “miserable but forgiven sinners”
– Did Jesus come to die for us to live as tortured souls?
– Other streams of the Christian faith, namely the Eastern church, express a real possibility of spiritual oneness with God
– Does God want to live with us in each moment in our lives?
– Galatians 2:20: Can I really say that I am “Crucified with Christ and that I no longer live but Christ lives in me” and that the “life I live I live by faith in the Son of God?”
The verse that has always haunted me, even when I wasn’t interested in spiritual formation, is John 10:10. I took Jesus at his word that he came to bring an abundant life and I just couldn’t believe that this abundant life was only for after we die. The amazing promises of the New Testament about a new life and a new Spirit and a new existence are just so evident but we seem to have reduced God to a forgiveness distributer and nothing more. If we cannot live our lives in connection with God than we are missing 80 percent of the gospel message.
Apprentice Activity: Get To Your Calendar Before Anyone Else Does
– C.S. Lewis – “Only lazy people work hard.”
– Eugene Peterson – “I indolently let others decide what I will do instead of resolutely deciding myself.”
– Make an appointment on your calendar for 8 hours of sleep a night and 2 hours a day for time loving God and loving others
As a writer of a blog that tries to show people how doable spiritual activity can be and being a person who refuses to cater to the idea that the solution to every problem is adding more (more reading, more prayer, more worship, more time), I have a problem with this activity. I think “bootcamp” mentality can be effective in the right setting but having the first activity be a complete overhaul of our daily routine is a little too much too soon. Who can keep the intensity of 8 hours of sleep and 2 hours of God time? Shouldn’t we try to work up to this goal? I certainly would like to but right now I have to do something different.
Before I commit to this activity I plan to spend a few days tracking my total sleep and my spiritual activity. I want to see what is normal for me and see how close or far away I am from the goal of 8 and 2. I think I then can make some efforts towards improving in these areas.
What is Jesus teaching me? Faith in Jesus is a great way to simplify your life. Last night, as I was surfing around the web, getting my sports fix, I had a sense of all that I was missing in the sports world. I didn’t know the scores to the Big 12 championship games and I didn’t know who is on the NCAA tournament bubble and I didn’t know if the Mavericks were winning their game against the Knicks. But then I remembered the 8 hours of sleep activity and thought, God doesn’t need me to be a walking Sports Center but he could use me more effectively if I were more rested. Plus, resting is a sign of trust that God is in control and I do not have to chase every thought that comes into my head.
How is God simplifying your life?