Sunday, October 05, 2008

The check is in the mail. Do you believe that?

I don't. Not after 3 days. However, I did start writing this weekend. I promised myself that I would not send any more work. I had to start, though, because there are only 3 weeks left before the target due date. Frankly, at this point, the contract project is practically impossible.

Still, ask me about sustainability...I have drafted 17 websites pages on the subject. Only 88 to go...

Other than two social commitments (one being T's birthday visit this weekend), I shall be doing little else besides going to work, writing, and sleeping. I shall even have to write while T's here, but I know that she will fall asleep before I so I should be able to manage somehow.

D is helping me. Boy, do we make a sweet writing team! She humbles me with her diction--each word in her edits fits so very well and enhances the overall piece...sometimes more than I thought possible. If the client does not like this work, I shall be truly surprised.

Professor C sent me his latest batch of sermons (remember that he preaches when his pastor is out of town). I squeezed in two of them as rewards for keeping true to my blistering writing schedule. I had send him the piece I had done with Pastor D's series on the Seven Words of Christ and his latest homily on prayer. Professor C was very impressed with his writing (Pastor D regularly brushes off my professional praise of his work) and his even greater admiration for how much Pastor D goes out of his way to minister to those who cross his path. What I love about Professor C is that he finished off his email by telling me about St. Athanasius (the saint whose name is in the name of Pastor D's church).

Professor C noted: "He stood for the deity of Christ "against the world" in the fourth century. If you've ever said the Nicene Creed, you've professed the faith of Athanasius." Much of our conversation the other evening was about standing against today's world...


Pastor D's homily:

Today I am starting a series of meditations on praying for others. These are based upon and inspired by a book I am reading called Grace Upon Grace: Spirituality for Today by Rev. Dr. John Kleinig, a theologian from Australia.

The Privilege of Prayer

"O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch."
(Psalm 5:3)

Prayer is the breath of a Christian. We breathe in God's Word and we breathe out in prayer based upon that Word. Christians have the privilege of prayer because we have access to God the Father through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Because the Son of God came down from heaven in solidarity with us, we now stand in solidarity with those around us and pray for them. When we do so, we use our position before God in a Christ-like way, for the benefit of others.

An example of this from the Old Testament is Moses (in his prayer after the incident with the golden calf). Here I will quote from Kleinig: "Moses used his standing with God to mediate between God and the people. On the one hand, since Moses has favor with God, he seeks to include his people in that favor. On the other hand, he refuses to separate from his people and join God in His condemnation of them. Thus Moses stands both in solidarity with God in His grace and with his people in their sin."

This, too, is what we are privileged to do in prayer. Since we are united to Christ by faith and have favor with God, we are bold to pray for others that they too may be included in God's favor. We stand not apart but in solidarity with our family, friends, and neighbors, to be a blessing to them. And of all the things we can do for others, prayer is the very best thing we could do for them. For with our prayers we are giving them not mere human help, but divine help. We place them in God's gracious hands, and watch - trusting that God will care for them. We may not ever see that care, but prayer is not based upon what we see, but upon the Word and promises of God. What He promises, He will do!

And so we pray - not just because we have to, but because we can; and because others need our prayers.

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