Saturday, April 11, 2009

One day at a time.

Last Sunday, Matt (church pastor) surprised me twice. I'm in the new members class (>_<) and we talked about theology last week. He said we are all theologians. That we're all supposed to be searching the Scriptures and learning about God's character. Learning more from Scripture itself than we do from music, from theological books, from Sunday morning teaching... God's Word is our most important source for learning about Him.

Now, did I know that already? Sure. I went to Bible college, for crying out loud. Of course I knew that I'm supposed to be a practicing theologian. But... I guess it makes me feel like a rebel. Questioning everything, looking at things from a different or unintended (but not invalid) view than was preached, trying to make more sense of things than I'm getting by sitting in the pew. Won't I get in trouble for that? For not just accepting what I hear and ignoring the stuff that doesn't jive? No... actually, I won't. At least not with anyone who really matters.

Then I went into church and he closed the sermon by saying that we're going to start reading through the Bible together as a church, using a standardized Bible reading plan. We're starting in the middle of April, rather than January 1. Well, okay, the OCD in me is slightly bothered by that, but I'll get over it. Then he says, out loud, from the pulpit, that if you miss a day, two days, a week, don't sweat it. Do not feel like you have to read two, three, eight times as much the next day. Just start with the next day. Sure, if you have time and want to, please, go ahead and read what you missed. But if not, it'll still be there next year; the canon is pretty much fixed by this point.

Again, I know that. If you miss a day and give up because you get overwhelmed by guilt and a feeling of trying to catch up, you've really missed out on an opportunity to accept forgiveness for your mistake and grow in perseverance by just pressing on. But... did he just say that out loud? Like, in front of the whole congregation? Just... let it slide?? How helpful. How freeing! I know it's true, and I've been learning to do it, but it still always feels like I'm cheating to give myself that freedom just to pass it over and enjoy the gift of a new chance (no strings attached) the next day.

We all wanna be legalists. Let's be radical and forgive ourselves.

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