Dion's random ramblings

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I'm impatient, slow to pray, and often lack hope... But there's something even worse!

I have a reminder that is set in my iCal appointments each week for a Monday morning at 9am (iCal is like Outlook, except, because it is an Apple Mac application it actually works ;-).

It is set for 9am on a Monday morning because that is directly after the Monday morning worship service at the Seminary where I serve. It sounds just as I arrive to the barrage of calls, people, tasks, meetings, and concerns from my staff, students, and the ministers and Bishops of the Methodist churches throughout the 6 nations of Southern Africa that our seminary serves.

The reminder is necessary! It helps me to keep in mind that I do this work because I have the joy of being called into it by God. It reminds me that others are as sinful and incomplete as I am, so be patient, approach them, their need, and concerns with joy, and live in the hope that even though I seldom get everything sorted out in a single meeting, a single report, or even that single day, there is the hope of knowing that I have done my best for the God who loves me, and my best for those whom God loves... And, that leads me to the infomercial 'but wait there's more moment...'

While verse 12, of Romans 12, is my weekly reminder, I have seldom taken the time to heed the command of verses 11 and 13.

Here's what the passage (Romans 12:11-13) says:

'Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be
joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's
people who are in need. Practice hospitality'.

Amazing isn't it? Zeal, fervor, service of Christ, joy, hope, patience, faith, sharing and lastly hospitality!

This last week my bi-weekly radio show on Radio Pulpit (first broadcast is always at 9am on a Wednesday, then rebroadcast throughout the week) dealt with that last injunction 'Be hospitable'. It has unleashed a great deal of criticism from more conservative quarters. We're happy to TALK about values (zeal, joy, hope, etc.) but when it comes down to doing something (welcoming people into Christ's fellowship) it becomes a battle ground!

So from this week I have added an extra reminder to continue to serve the Lord with fervor and zeal, and another to care for God's people in need and be constantly hospitable (to the outsider, the disregarded, the misunderstood, the rejected, the poor, the rich, the American, and the African, straight, and the gay, the liberal and the conservative). What I like most about this passage is that is places God, in Christ, at the centre of all of these actions. Love and zeal and service of Christ, prayer to God in Christ, care for the people that God loves, and welcome, on behalf of God, to all the people that God loves!

It also struck me that since BGod is the centre of all life, it is not my right to exclude anyone that God loves! I am the steward, God is the truly hospitable householder.

Dion, blogging while braaing (an offering of thanks for our victory last night!), Megie putting Liam to sleep, and Courtney is playing.

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