Courtney Reissig’s new book, Glory in the Ordinary, just released, and it’s a good one, especially for those who are asking if working in the home really makes a difference and matters to God. All this week, Courtney’s been hosting Facebook Live discussions of the book. Check out the third one tomorrow and visit her blog for more details.
Gathering with God’s people is not first about being blessed but about being a blessing. It’s not first about getting but about giving. As we prepare to worship on Sunday morning, our first consideration should be “how to stir up one another to love and good works.” We should approach Sunday deliberately, eager to do good to others, to be a blessing to them. In those times we feel our zeal waning, when we feel the temptation to skip out on a Sunday or withdraw altogether, we should consider our God-given responsibility to encourage “one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” This text is not about us, but about them. This text is not for Christian individuals but Christian communities.
Is it wrong for me to binge watch Netflix? What about putting my kids on a select soccer team that plays on Sunday mornings? Am I spending too much time at the gym?
The Bible doesn’t have specific answers for these kinds of questions. But this doesn’t mean the Bible doesn’t have something specific to say.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra:
To the fathers of secularization theory, it was obvious. Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Karl Marx theorized that the more advanced and educated a society became, the less it would need that “opium of the masses”: religion.
Not among US Christians, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. In fact, among evangelicals, more education correlates with a higher religious commitment in every area that Pew researchers asked about.
We live in an age of anxiety. Cultural pessimism is all the rage, both inside the church and out. In an anxious age, we are tempted not only to egregious and obvious transgressions, but to more “common sins” like complaining (which I’ve written about here) and, of course, worrying.
As I have written about at length on this blog, Millennials are generally seen to be a generation of young people who can’t stop looking at their phones long enough to move out of their parents’ houses, get married, and start a family—three of the historical “markers” of adulthood. This stereotype is just that: a generalization that has some truth to it but should not be applied to everyone born between 1980ish and 1995ish.
This newest data does, however, affirm this common stereotype of Millennials.
At the end of Ezra 4 the people who started out rebuilding the temple with a head of steam had fizzled out. They were crippled by a fear of man. As they cowered in discouragement and shame, the dust settled on the building project.
So what does God do?
He sends a couple of preachers, Haggai and Zechariah, to preach. And do they ever.
A favorite from the archives:
We look at certain individuals, and we are in awe. We admire their talent; we enjoy the movies or TV shows or music in which they perform. We kind of wish we had their gifts (or at least their looks—remember “the Rachel”?). They promise to rescue us from the hell of our boredom with the ordinariness and obscurity of our own lives. We want to be known and important—and because that’s not going to happen for most of us, we are (somewhat) content to live vicariously through them. We read blogs or news sites that talk about new projects they’re involved with. But as time goes on, the boredom creeps back in. So the stories change from their work to their lives. And, voyeurism aside, we are enthralled, and our boredom is sent back into exile. But then it happens again: we start getting bored with the happy narrative. Soon, the tone of the reporting begins to change. We no longer have a happy picture of their lives.