You Are The House of the Lord

It’s Saturday, which means I’ve listened to another episode of Being Known, specifically episode “Dwell” from season three.

In it Dr. Thompson made a reference that those who place faith in Jesus become indwelt by the Holy Spirit, making them a house of the Lord.

My lyrical brain immediately thought of Phil Wickham’s song by that title. I paused the podcast and listened to that song through the lens that any reference to the house of the Lord was to a believer, not to a building. That was impactful.

In that listening I also considered that perspective suggested a more personal choice of pronouns in the song. So I began changing all the “we’s” to “I.” Even more impactful.

You may not know this song. Here’s the official lyric video. Take a few minutes to listen to the song several times.

First, to familiarize yourself with it.

Then listen from the perspective that you are the house.

Then a final time changing the plural pronouns to singular.

Have a Joy-filled Day!

Stuck on Saturday

During the Easter season the last few years, I’ve been drawn to conversations around not rushing to Sunday. We’d rather not sit in the pain or silence choosing to skip ahead to resurrection. Lucky for us in this century, that’s an option.

Sorry for those that lived Easter weekend in real time. Not an option for them. And although it feels like an option for us each Easter weekend, the reality is that much of our life experience feels a lot like waiting for resurrection. Like it’s a really looooooong Saturday.

  • An unraveling marriage
  • A family feud
  • A wayward child
  • A terminal diagnosis
  • An unfulfilled promise

In many biblical accounts we find company with others stuck on Saturday:

  • Abraham’s years of waiting for the promised son
  • Jacob and Esau’s rivalry encouraged by their parents that caused years of generational pain
  • Joseph’s journey through multiple betrayals, even prison time
  • Esther’s quest to save her people
  • Job’s turmoil of loss, grief, and disease
  • David’s numerous interpersonal relationship challenges that seemed unending

Their stories may be so familiar that we forget or fail to see how much we have in common. Their resurrection took much longer than a weekend…weeks, but mostly years. They had to find a way to live stuck on Saturday. Truth is, until eternity is our norm-the ultimate resurrection, we’re all stuck on Saturday. The how-to-live-on-Saturday list is long, but here are my top three, Easter 2022:

Stop trying to make it happen…that’s what Abraham did. What a mess! It’s better to wait for the promise keeper to move the stone than to derail your life attempting to do his job for him.

Remember whose you are…that’s what David did. What a heart! It’s healthy to blurt, wail, lament, and even curse in order to create the space for praise from a sheltered, created, purposed, and everlastingly loved child.

Keep the communication lines open…that’s what they all did. What examples! It’s freeing to lean not on your own understanding by trusting that what is coming on Sunday is something only possible from higher ways and thoughts.

Stuck on Saturday? It’s not fun. Yet the forced gaze on the stone mover is worth it.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Into

Into the normal of a borrowed room the Bread of Life memorialized

His hope remains

Into the fog of the garden the Vine agonized

His connection remains

Into the mockery of the temple the Door submitted

His welcome remains

Into the denial in the courtyard the Good Shepherd understood

His forgiveness remains

Into the torture of the flogging the Way, the Truth, and the Life endured

His love remains

Into the abandonment on the cross the Resurrection and the Life embraced

His victory remains

Into the darkness of the tomb the Light of the World invaded

His promise remains

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Reading to Understand the War in Ukraine

Last month The Atlantic published an article Nine Books to Read to Understand the War in Ukraine. It moved me to expand my knowledge, to educate myself, and to better respond to other’s opinions on the current crisis.

Any of the recommended books sounded interesting to me. I decided to take a trip to the library and see what I could find. I had my favorites selected, but the reality was I was at the library’s mercy. Unfortunately, they didn’t have copies of most of the books. The book that most interested me that they did have I decided was too long of a read. So I browsed other books with related topics and checked out this one by a professor and former foreign policy analyst, Constantine Pleshakov. Turned out to scratch the itch.

One could certainly read this book faster than I did, but I wanted to sit in it more than just do a quick read. Truthfully, I would probably need to read it several times to fully grasp all the history and political nuances addressed. Yet, I’ve gained so much from this read that otherwise I wouldn’t possess.

My one trip to that area of Europe was ten years ago. I went to Belarus as one of several ESL teachers for a week-long schooling. That glimpse was a blink, but an excellent thumbnail into the mindset of those who face the dilemma between holding on to their past or ferociously determining their future. An individual making that life choice can be stuck for much of their life. Imagine the nth degree reached when it’s an entire nation or region.

For anyone facing that dilemma but more importantly for the leaders and citizens of Ukraine, I share this blessing from Numbers 6:

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

The vast majority of us base our thoughts about this war on what we read online or hear on the news. I encourage you to do yourself and the Ukrainians a favor-take the time to do your own digging. You’ll benefit more from conducting your own dig that looking in someone else’s hole.

Photo by Marjan Blan | @marjanblan on Unsplash