Lent.1–Engage: Study

by admin on April 7, 2014

Reflections for 9 March 2014
Romans 12:1-3; Psalm 1

Lent. Schuller: Let’s Eliminate Negative thinking. Grandma: boot camp.

Lent as engagement, not renunciation. Cultivation of an attitude launch pad.

Renovare’s Engage: Kai reflection, repentance, renewal.

Spiritual disciplines undertaken through our power to open us to the power beyond ourselves. We actively engage God, one another, the world.

Lent as time beyond “should, must, ought.” Disciplines of engagement will crack open the heart and mind and soul so that the surprising and unsurpassing love of Christ will be poured out to overflowing. (c.f. Pliney the Younger…..)

We grow not through information but interaction towards transformation. Here Formational Friendships people willing to make intentional journey of grace with you through the engagement of these practices. Here you open your life to God’s renewing spirit through intentional practice and reflection. (How is that working for me?)

Engage. Ash Wednesday: Submission. Week 1: Study. So that the mind is renewed, our connection with the story of God is deepened, our discernment of what is good and right is sharpened.

to become a Christian involves learning the story of Jesus well enough to interpret and experience your world and yourself in its terms

Study with expectancy. What enters the mind shapes the heart and energizes the actions/ habits. What we study matters.

Psalm 1

4th grade daily recitation. This psalm is really a sort of preface to the whole Psalter. It voices the piety of the post exilic period. Lays out clearly the life of obedience and the enduring consequences of that. Prism of Torah obedience. This Psalm summarizes the entire narrative memory of Israel, witnessing to the saving and commanding presence of Yahweh.

We are told how a person lives and the outcome of such a life.
Live don’t hang around the wrong people.
Outcome wellbeing and prosperity.

Vv1-3 Torah is heart of success and righteousness. Constancy, joy, fruitfulness characterize the individual who delights in and continually meditates upon God’s law. (Hebrew word here is “plot.”)

Vv4-6 Chaff. The wicked in contrast are like debris: no enduring quality. Vv5-6 arranged as chiasm. (a) wicked will not stand in congregation of righteous (b). Lord watches over way of righteous (B’) while way of the wicked (A’) will perish. Literary device to underscore important comparison.

Human choice and responsibility matter decisively. No ambiguity.

Psalm 150 serves as culminating song of praise. Obedience—Praise. Makes for s nice little formula that can quickly set us on edge. What about those other times?

Those in between times? That’s what the rest of Psalms is about. In between obedience and praise is the full expression to suffering and rage, hurt, anger, doubt, alienation.

One factor—Truth—remains. The steadfast love of Yahweh endures forever.

Consider this week’s plan in Engage.

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