Bulletin 10.03.21

For you light my lamp; The Lord my God illumines my darkness.

Reflections Before The Service

  • David doesn't fit a preformed mold. When we enter the story of David, we don't find what our sociologists and psychologists call a "role model", a kind of slot which we can slide without going through the pain of becoming human ourselves. He worked out firsthand what it meant to be alive before God in the midst of those who are concerned only with staying alive. His care for and sensitivity toward others had nothing to do with conforming to the expectations of others... He was, in a word, compassionate.
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    - Eugene H. Peterson, Leap Over a Wall: Earthy Spirituality for Everyday Christians (HarperSanFrancisco; 1997; p.110)
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    Perhaps the most obviously Christian element of Mr. Macdonald's legacy was his quiet acceptance of what we now know were nine years of cancer, from which he died without acknowledging his illness in public. (The closest he ever came to referring to his disease was in a stand-up bit that mocked that fashionable rhetoric of "battling" cancer" "I'm not a doctor but I'm pretty sure if you die, the cancer dies at the same time. That's not a loss. That's a draw.") ...Christianity almost uniquely invites its adherents to find value in suffering because it allows us to unite ourselves with Christ in his Crucifixion.
    But the acknowledgment of suffering is not the final goal of Christian religion, which ultimately derives its meaning from the joy of Christ's Resurrection. In the early centuries of the church, Christians were mocked by their pagan fellow citizens for a kind of blithe stillness that reminded them of drunkards. Even in his final years of pain, Mr. Macdonald, too, exhibited an almost Falstaffian joie de vivre. "At times, the joy that life attacks me with is unbearable and leads to gasping hysterical laughter," he told his Twitter followers in 2018. How could a man be a cynic? It is a sin"
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    - Matthew Walther, "Norm McDonald's Comedy was Quite Christian" (New York Times, September 20, 2021)

The Call to Worship

  • For You save a humble people,
    But haughty eyes you bring down.
    For You light my lamp;
    The LORD my God illumines my darkness.
    For by You I can run upon a troop;
    And by my God I can leap over a wall.

    As for God, His way is blameless;
    The word of the LORD is tried,
    He is a shield to all who take refuge in him.
    For who is God, but the LORD?
    And who is a rock, except our God,
    The God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless?

    -Psalm 18:27-31

  • David doesn't fit a preformed mold. When we enter the story of David, we don't find what our sociologists and psychologists call a "role model", a kind of slot which we can slide without going through the pain of becoming human ourselves. He worked out firsthand what it meant to be alive before God in the midst of those who are concerned only with staying alive. His care for and sensitivity toward others had nothing to do with conforming to the expectations of others... He was, in a word, compassionate.
    -
    - Eugene H. Peterson, Leap Over a Wall: Earthy Spirituality for Everyday Christians (HarperSanFrancisco; 1997; p.110)
    -
    -
    Perhaps the most obviously Christian element of Mr. Macdonald's legacy was his quiet acceptance of what we now know were nine years of cancer, from which he died without acknowledging his illness in public. (The closest he ever came to referring to his disease was in a stand-up bit that mocked that fashionable rhetoric of "battling" cancer" "I'm not a doctor but I'm pretty sure if you die, the cancer dies at the same time. That's not a loss. That's a draw.") ...Christianity almost uniquely invites its adherents to find value in suffering because it allows us to unite ourselves with Christ in his Crucifixion.
    But the acknowledgment of suffering is not the final goal of Christian religion, which ultimately derives its meaning from the joy of Christ's Resurrection. In the early centuries of the church, Christians were mocked by their pagan fellow citizens for a kind of blithe stillness that reminded them of drunkards. Even in his final years of pain, Mr. Macdonald, too, exhibited an almost Falstaffian joie de vivre. "At times, the joy that life attacks me with is unbearable and leads to gasping hysterical laughter," he told his Twitter followers in 2018. How could a man be a cynic? It is a sin"
    -
    - Matthew Walther, "Norm McDonald's Comedy was Quite Christian" (New York Times, September 20, 2021)

  • For You save a humble people,
    But haughty eyes you bring down.
    For You light my lamp;
    The LORD my God illumines my darkness.
    For by You I can run upon a troop;
    And by my God I can leap over a wall.

    As for God, His way is blameless;
    The word of the LORD is tried,
    He is a shield to all who take refuge in him.
    For who is God, but the LORD?
    And who is a rock, except our God,
    The God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless?

    -Psalm 18:27-31

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Bulletin Date: 10/03/2021