Please join us Friday evening, 7 PM, in the sanctuary for a solemn service of confession, scripture reading, and singing, as we meditate upon the suffering and death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Please join us for our Maundy Thursday Agape Feast, 6 PM in the fellowship hall. This is a worship service that takes place around tables and a meal, and culminates in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.
Last night I had the pleasure of hearing Peter Leithart give an informal lecture related to his latest book, Gratitude: An Intellectual History. During his overview of Shakespeare’s play, Coriolanus (which is referenced in the book), Dr. Leithart made the point that ingratitude creates isolation. This struck me as especially profound given that Adam’s fall in the garden can rightfully be traced to his ingratitude, which immediately resulted in isolation. Isolation from God. Isolation from Eve. Isolation from the creation that he was called to rule over and serve. Granted, the isolation was not absolute, but the isolating barrier of sin significantly complicated his relationships and calling. Ingratitude resulted in isolation for Adam, and it results in isolation for you and me today. How much of our sin is fundamentally a result of ingratitude?
The Scriptures are replete with admonitions to thanksgiving. Heavy doses are given in the Psalms and Epistles. Paul exhorts the Ephesians to be giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (5:20). This is not Paul calling believers to an unrealistic spirituality, but to the essence of spirituality. Thanksgiving is the most basic particle of the spiritual air that we are to breathe, and as it fills our lungs and readily falls from our mouths, it will keep us from a host of sins. If you find yourself in a constant state of frustration and irritability with your spouse and children, and you just want to be “alone” (read: “isolated”), then there is a good chance that you need to give thanks to the Lord for the spouse and children He has given you. What event or circumstance (for which you should be thankful, according to Paul) would you blame for your anger? When your child is ungrateful, or refuses to say “Thank you” to their sibling that has just done them a kindness, he or she is isolating themselves. Ingratitude creates isolation. Gratitude creates true fellowship and community. Take some time to examine your sins, and trace them to their core. You will likely find ingratitude at the root.
I am thoroughly enjoying Meg Meeker’s Strong Father, Strong Daughters. It is insightful, challenging, and encouraging, and I highly recommend it to fathers of daughters, regardless of their age. So, if you’re a new dad of a daughter, read this book. If you have years of experience fathering a daughter, you will still find this to be an edifying read.
I have been tweeting a few quotes over the past weeks as I have made my way through this book, but here is one that exceeds 140 characters, but is well worth sharing. In the chapter “Be the Man You Want Her to Marry,” Dr. Meeker makes this point:
You want your daughter to live freely, without fear. So show her how. Be the man you want her to marry, because chances are excellent that when she is mature, she will look for you (albeit subconsciously) in another another man. If you haven’t a clue what a good father looks like, look around and find someone who is doing it well. Then watch him, learn from him, mimic him. As you practice, you will change your daughter’s life. She will absorb who you are. And one day, she will turn around and reward you with a son-in-law you can respect.