As a pastor, each week means reading. I spend time reading Scripture, books, newspapers, blog sites and everything in between. I’ve been thinking about how I can review and catalog the ideas, concepts, and stories I come across. I’ve also been thinking that many of my “findings” may be of use and interest to others. To this end, This is my list of the top 3 things I’ve read this past week and a bit of commentary around one or more of them. You will find links, when possible, to read for yourself.
#1 – I ran across this piece from Seth Godin in 2010 after hearing about it in a podcast recently. It’s a good way to look at how we treat ourselves. I grow more convinced that only after knowing God’s love and allowing that to develop a love for ourselves are we prepared to love others. Therefore, a good place to start is examining our own self-talk and review how we act when no one else is watching. I love accountability but unless it is developing a growing character within you and me, it is simply a device for self-management and not self-development. My guess is that most of us are harder on ourselves than we would be on anyone else. That may be good…but it may telling us something about how we view ourselves which is unhealthy. I’ll let you decide for yourself…
#2 – “It is easier to find guides, someone to tell you what to do than someone to be with you.”
#3 – The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us. Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
[John 4:25-27 NIV]
While Jesus refuses to acknowledge that he is the Messiah to the Jews, he does acknowledge it to the Samaritan woman. Fascinating who gets insider information and who is left on the outside. It is also important to remember who Jesus critiques and who he welcomes with open arms well before they get it. The religious folk are continually held out as an example of people who do not hear, do not see, and therefore do not get it. All the while, the outcast like the tax collectors, adulterers, Samaritans and even Roman military officers are described as displaying a sensitivity to Jesus and are held out as examples of faithfulness. If this doesn’t grab the church’s attention then I don’t know what will.