Sunday, September 02, 2007

Feeling Thorny

At church, we’ve been going through the parables. When we first moved here the pastor was doing a series on end times, and I struggled through each sermon. Part of it was the topic, but the larger issue was probably the pastor’s teaching style …let’s just say, it doesn’t match my learning style.

Anyway, the parables seem to keep the pastor a bit more on track; we’re not randomly flipping through the bible and then scratching our heads about what the sermon was about, which is a beautiful thing. I would consider this an answered prayer.

Dirt and I have almost given up on this church a few times, we’ve visited other churches, but we always end up back where we started, which is probably the Lord’s way of telling us that this is where we need to be. We like the head pastor, and there is no doubt about his love for the Lord, or his doctrine, it’s just the actual teaching that we struggle with. Both of the other pastors are great, the problem is that they only get to preach every 6th week, but I’m praying that will change.

Anyway, today we were in Matthew 13 – talking about the parable of the Sower. The interesting thing about this parable is that Jesus classifies people into four spiritual categories:
1) People who hear the word and do not receive it.
2) People who hear the word, accept it joyfully, and a month later forget about it.
3) People who hear the word, understand it, but then the worries of life make them unfruitful.
4) People who hear the word, understands it and “produces a crop”.

Unfortunately Dirt and I seem to linger around the third category, with peaks into the forth, and valleys into the second. The biblical explanation of the third category is: “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth chokes it, making it unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).

An interesting term is “the deceitfulness of the wealth”. As a society, I think most of us believe, on some level, that we’d be happier if we had more money. When we play the lottery, we think about how excited we’d be if we won, we plan how we’d spend that money, good times, right? I wonder if Owen Wilson thought that at one point in his life? I wonder if he thought “if only he made it big, everything would be perfect”. I don’t know very much about him or his situation, I’ll admit that I haven’t read any articles about his suicide attempt, or what he might’ve been dealing with, but whenever I hear about a “rich and famous” person attempting suicide, I can’t help but think about the disillusion of wealth. It really puts this verse into perspective.

I realize this post has been all over the place, ironically, this is how our pastor preaches. Everything he says is valid; it just doesn’t always go together. I started with talking about church, which could have been a blog of its own. Then I went into the parable of the sower, which also could’ve been its own blog, then I went into Owen Wilson, which probably is its own topic, and now I’m talking about the pastor again. Sweet irony – Dirt will understand this – it’s exactly how pastor preaches. Funny.

2 comments:

~Seth & Nancy~ said...

seth was reading through your post the other day and said "i hope their pastor doesn't read their blog" :-D
i'm really glad to hear that you're getting back into the groove...we'll continue to pray for you guys. sometimes it's easier to get in the mindset of what am i GIVING by going to church (getting involved in fellowship, etc) instead of what am i taking away...just something to keep in mind! miss you guys....

T5M said...

Yeah, I don't think he knows we exist, let alone reads the blog.

Very true, about how am I contributing...In our case, Dirt played golf today with the Outreach pastor, does that count? :-)