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Devotional Dec 9 2021

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Psalm 37; Amos 9:1-10; Rev. 2:8-17; Matt. 23:13-26
 
Majoring in minors, right? That’s what Jesus warns us against. Growing up, I remember distinctly a series of Sunday school classes on the mysterious superpowers of the antediluvian era–prior to Noah’s flood, people had antigravity rays (that’s how the pyramids got built!) and shrink rays (that’s how they crammed all those animals into the Ark!). And no, the pastor and board of elders and deacons didn’t know that’s what the 4th grade boys were being subjected to…but we were. And in case this sounds like an anti-evangelical screed, not that long ago I found a 1950s curriculum for confirmation at Grace Church. Nowhere did it talk about the Creed or the Trinity–nowhere. But the quiz you had to pass included the colors of the Church year and a multiple choice ‘what is the proper name of the step in front of the altar? a.) footpace b.) faldstool c.) aumbrey d.) none of the above.’ As if salvation hinges even remotely on matters of aesthetics…
 
We love to major in minors. Because it’s easy, because it makes us look special and ‘in the know.’ No one knows what a narthex is, so if I do (it’s a church foyer) then it must mean I’m super special. And no, I’m not advocating dumbing down. I always call it the narthex, never the foyer–unless people look puzzled, in which case I quickly say ‘the church foyer.’ What I’m saying is that we need to get the big stuff down first. Who is Jesus in my life? Where do I see the Spirit working in the world’s brokenness, and how can we join in that work? What is the Christian hope? How should I live in a muddled and confusing world in which moral choices aren’t always obvious? What’s the difference between unconditional love and cheap grace? Until we have at least a 2nd grade proficiency in those big questions, it’s immaterial whether Jubal had shrink rays, whether we use the rose or the blue hangings this weekend, whether I tithe my garden herbs. First work on faith, hope and love, justice and mercy, and there will always be time, at day’s end, to think about the Nephilim…
Steven Wilson

Steven Wilson

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Grace Church is the oldest Episcopal parish in the four states area.
Rooted in worship of the Risen Christ, we draw our understanding of His commandment to love one another from Holy Scripture, reason and tradition—and we encourage our membership actively to seek a deeper personal relationship with Christ, a relationship founded in love of God and of neighbor.

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