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Sunday, June 3, 2007

Trinity Sunday John 15:26-16:15 Review of "Into Great Silence"

Yesterday I sat with 5 friends in the downtown OKC Art Museum theater and watched a breathtaking film, "Into Great Silence," a documentary on the life
of Carthusian monks of the Grande Chartreuse, way up in a remote area of the French Alps (Chartreuse Mountains). When I say "watched" I mean it in every sense of the word since "listening" only happened occasionally. 2 hours and 40 minutes of near silence with occasional French words with English subtitles. When there was natural sound we heard it...rain falling, chairs scraping, steps in the crisp snow...the monks live in silence except for a few hours on Sunday. I did not realize it until 20 minutes into the movie when I finally heard a sound and breathed a sigh of relief that sound is comfort in a noisy world.

Today is Trinity Sunday. Like most theologians, I have attempted to wax eloquent on the Trinity in the past. I've read the books and written the papers. Yet I do not understand. The monks do understand. Trinity is about unity; togetherness; community. It is about staying together no matter what. It is about living and breathing the air of the other. It is about a vow to live communally not taken lightly.

The 30something monk rubbing ointment on the shriveled back of a skeletal octogenarian brought flashbacks of another 30something washing feet.

Could I live this way? I could live without technology. For a few weeks. I could live without shopping. For a few days. But it would take a major duck taping on the mouth to keep me from talking for a week at a time.

You can read more about the film here or the official website at The official website is a little hard to navigate, esp. if you pull up the German version. If you are looking for a brief description, go to the wikipedia link.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Pentecost Acts 2:42-47

Acts 2:42-47

The early church was devoted to the Apostles' Teaching.
What is this? That Jesus was born, lived, died, and rose again. The Apostles had lived as part of Jesus’ story and by being devoted to the teaching the people were becoming a part of the story too. How do we do this? Preaching, yes, but there has to be more. That is why we have Sunday school. To share the story of why we are here. If you don’t come to Sunday school you don’t have a grasp on why we are here, then it becomes much easier to not be here( in the church).
"We shall have to break our habit of having church in such a way that people think they can be Christians and remain strangers."
Ordinary Christians living ordinary Christian life before people
EVERYONE WANTED TO BE TOGETHER! Sure they were different. Sure there were fishermen and shopkeepers and widows and children and so many differences! But they cared more about what they had in common—belief in this story Jesus crucified and raised. Why? Because it gave them more hope than hanging out in the streets. And. . . ……..
Breaking of bread—worship. Jesus commanded his disciples to share communion every time they met for worship. They did it EVERYDAY and it didn’t get old!! Boy I sure need it more than once a month that’s for sure. They were not coming together to sit on pews and have someone preach at them or see a spectacular show on the big screen…they were coming together to worship GOD.
Praying TALKING to this JESUS CHRIST They preached about.
Unified ONE PURPOSE>>>>IT'S ALL THAT MATTERED! Sure tomorrow they could be crucified the same leaders still walked the same streets….sure tomorrow they could be thrown in prison ( and were) sure tomorrow they could die of starvation but TODAY WE WILL BE TOGETHER
Generous and honest
The church gave all and lived communally. Now This would be extremely difficult with the size of the church now but we still have a taste of it with our belief in tithing. Malachi 3:8 We also have a taste of it with our offerings for missions…we still owe $1200 for our World Evangelism fund.
The Holy spirit doesn’t like it when people lie. Peter could have thought, this is just over a piece of real estate. Who cares if they lie?
Tithing is 10%. God says in the Bible that we are robbing him if we don’t pay it.
This church would have no financial problems if everyone who attended regularly gave 10% of their income. That’s just the way God wants it to work. Now you may say that you’re not very blessed financially. Ends may not be meeting at all for you. I’ve been there too. I read in my diary which I have kept since I was nine this week a few pages when my family was experiencing financial hardship. I was 14 and praying for some new shoes. I was thanking God for sending me a babysitting job where we had earned $5 so I could go and look for shoes on the clearance rack of Wal-mart. But I know that I gave 50c of that $5 to my church. How could I not? God had sent me the money so I would give him his portion or be ungrateful.

None of the nice-smelling formelyhyde at funerals—it was a stinking dead body buried that day or else. Children died often…

God did the adding! They went about being the church. Doing the things that Jesus commanded them to do, being GOD”S PEOPLE. And when they DID THIS

The church is the only organization that exists for those who are not members.
What does that mean?
Do we have a purpose? Does God have a purpose in mind for this church? If he does, do we believe in it wholeheartedly? Enough to pour time, energy, money and talent into it?