Saturday, August 12, 2017

Taking a Break, Not Passing Away

Today's reflection on the Daily Texts:

Lord God, you are God, and your words are true. - 2 Samuel 7:28

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." - Luke 21:33

Two-year reading texts: Psalm 96:10-13; Jeremiah 7; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-28

It was almost a year ago that I started this blog. It began as a project where a group of church leaders I was working with agreed to all post our reflections on the Daily Texts. This was intended to get us into a habit of providing a regular example of engaging and reflecting on scripture, as a guide to people we might be working with in small groups. I wrestled with the idea, gave it a try, and stuck with it even after that original group disbanded.

Now, on a much slower timeframe than originally planned, I'm getting ready to start working with an in-person group through the church I serve. In some ways, it will be similar to what we envisioned a year ago; in some ways, a little different.

I'm spending a lot of time lately praying, planning, thinking, pulling together resources, getting ready for the "Small Group Startup" we have scheduled for Saturday September 9. I've been (mostly!) taking time regularly to read and pray and ponder using the Daily Texts, but feeling stressed about finding the extra time to write these posts. So today I decided to make it "official" and tell myself and anyone reading that I will take a break from posting here for a while.

It may be that within a short time, I'll be back posting here - especially if the people I'm working with say they find it useful. If so, it's likely that I'll switch for a while from the Daily Texts to the "Essential 100," a survey of 50 Old Testament and 50 New Testament passages that we'll be using in our small groups here.

I feel OK about this change - one of many in my life! - especially with the words of Jesus in today's Luke 21 verse. Yes, many things do change. But the words of Jesus, and the good news available to us in his birth and life and ministry and death and resurrection and ascension, are forever. In every season of life, we do our best to stay connected and abide in those words in whatever way the season calls for.

Paul also writes in today's 1 Thessalonians 5 passage his encouragement to "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances." He's talking about a living relationship with God, which necessarily changes over time. Yet the connection continues unbroken.

Finally, in 2 Samuel 7, we're given an encouragement in the words of David, to remember that God is God, and God's words are true. This was part of a prayer by David after God told them that it would be Solomon, not David, who would build the temple. But David and his household would have a place with God forever.

Through Jesus, Son of David, Son of God, we also have a place with God forever. May God bless us along the travels and through the changes of life. May we all have a living, life-giving connection with God each day, through this break and beyond!