Friday, September 19, 2008

Recent Rain and Men's Breakfast

It rained here last weekend. Apparently it rained enough that people elsewhere got worried about me even though I own a bumbershoot and am not water soluble. Still it rained from Friday to Sunday, records were set and small rivers flooded. I don't live in a place that's susceptible to flooding and never have other than the localized kind caused by bad pipes or other leaks. It was a good chance to test our library's new roof to see if it would hold up against serious rainage. Turns out all that time spent with noise and without air conditioning this summer has not fixed the main leak. It might have fixed some of them, but new leaks opened up so I'd say it's a wash.

I got to speak to a few brave souls at our church men's breakfast on Saturday morning. I talked about the importance of studying the history of the church as the story of what God has done and is continuing to do. In some ways the benefits are the same as studying any kind of history, viz. there's lots of good stories and you can learn from others' mistakes. There is an added layer as well. Throughout scripture there is an emphasis on telling what God has done. Jesus tells us that he will be with us always, even to the end of the age. By looking at our past we see the works of God in the lives of his people, sometimes despite the lives of his people, and are encouraged to worship him. A second focus was on the importance of telling our own stories to one another. The vast majority of the life of the church is not made up of Francis of Assisi or Polycarp or Jonathan Edwards but of unknown people who live day-to-day lives full of God's grace. We are those people and by telling of what God has done in our lives we glorify him and share his work with others. I also like to remember that though most of our stories are forgotten here, "The Lord knows the way of the righteous." He remembers our stories and so they are preserved forever.

Random quotes:
"Those who don't study the past will repeat its errors. Those who do study it will find new ways to err." I believe my St. Olaf History Dept. t-shirt attributed this quote to Charles Wolfe.

"In the end nothing is lost. For good or ill every event has repercussions forever" Will Durant on the fall of Babylon.

"It's like watching Shakespeare." An anonymous friend on watching British movies starring Jason Statham (her intent was to compare the experience of being unable to figure out the language at first and then somewhere in the middle realizing that you're understanding. I can see the point and I am a Statham fan but I bet it's pretty rare that Snatch or Mean Machine get compared to the Bard)

Worship haiku:
Miraculous grace
Drips from the wounds of Jesus,
Healing His broken.

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