Jesus sharing random thoughts with His followers.  At least that's my interpretation....

Jesus sharing random thoughts with His followers. At least that’s my interpretation….

So my wife pretty consistently tells me that I’m a depository of useless information, which I will share with her until she has a stomach ache. I’ve grown to accept her perceptions as truth.  In celebration of that, I thought I might share some random thoughts with you today….

1.  When explaining how Luther and Wesley considered the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Baptism to be “channels” of grace, it’s probably best not to use the example of your dad, the plumber, installing a pipe so that bodily wastes have a route, or “channel” by which to travel from the toilet to the septic tank.  It’s infinitely better to use the example of your dad installing a pipe as a “channel” that transports water from a well to your sink.

I would rather not say which of these examples I spontaneously used during a discipleship group last week.

2.  For Baptists, salvation happens in a microwave (dramatic conversion).  For Methodist and Anglicans, it’s usually a crock pot experience (covenant relationships + God’s grace, working together to grow us to faith in Christ).  It’s real either way.

3.  I received a flyer in the mail this week from a local church inviting me to their March 31 “Alive Super Sunday” celebration.  Evangelical Christian culture has officially re-imagined Easter.  Transforming Lent into “40 Days of Focus” was bad enough.  Isn’t Easter good enough just being Easter?

It made me throw up in my mouth a little.

Actually, it made me throw up in my mouth a lot.

4.  Courtesy of…..A question that perhaps all of us should be asking.

funny dance

5.  The Catholic Church has a new Pope, with many historic implications….The first from our half of the world, the first since 1054AD to invite an Orthodox Patriarch to his inaugural Mass,  first Jesuit.  In that first Mass, he asked God to forgive the men who chose him as Pope.  It’s nice to see some levity in Rome.  These are times we should not forget.

6.   When someone tells me they have “the joy of the Lord in my heart”, I always think of squirting dish detergent on myself, and responding, “I’ve got Joy all over me!”

Is that strange?

7.  There’s also a new Archbishop of Canterbury, Fr. Justin Welby.  A good guy with great credentials.    He’s a former businessman who entered the priesthood later in life, and admits that he comes from a world where the Church has absolutely no relevance.  He’s humble, but don’t let him fool you.  He’s sharp as a tack.  He followed NT Wright as Bishop of Durham, for goodness’ sake!  He was enthroned as AoC on the chair of St. Augustine, which has been used for this purpose since at least the year 1205.  I’m a total geek for English Christianity, which dates to the earliest days of the faith.  I’ve seen the chair.  It’s held up pretty well for the past 800 + years.

I love seeing Fr. Justin smile as he’s entering the doors of the Cathedral with his Bishop’s crook.  It’s almost like he’s thinking, “This is the silliest looking thing I’ve ever done.”  I think I would very much enjoy hanging out with this guy.

8.  Just started reading Mike Aquilina’s “Praying the Psalms with the Early Christians”, and I’m enjoying it immensely so far.  Each chapter has a Psalm , words to remember from that Psalm, commentary from a Church Father or Mother, and questions for one to consider about what we’ve just read.  In the introduction there’s a great quote from St. John Chrysostom, on man’s relationship with the Psalms, and music, in general…

“So much does our nature take pleasure in chants and songs that even babies at the breast, when they are weeping and troubled, are lulled to sleep.  For the same reason, travelers sing at mid-day as they drive their yoked animals, and thus they ease by song the hardships of the journey.  And not only travelers, but laborers, too, often sing as they tread the grapes in the winepress, gather the harvest, dress the vines, and do their other jobs.  Sailors do the same, rowing the oars.  And women sing a certain melody as they weave and sort the tangled threads…Women, travelers, workers, and sailors try to ease with a chant the hardship that goes with their toil, for the mind endures hardships and difficulty more readily when it hears songs and chants.”

That being said, I’ll close out my ongoing random thoughts, expressed to the point of nausea, with this offering from Sandra McCracken.  It’s a song with more than a hint of the Psalms within, one which replays in my mind and on my Spotify quite often as I go about my work day, and has seen me through both difficult and joyous moments.

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!