The discipline of putting other things aside in order to worship together has an absolute spiritual benefit!– DM
I don’t know if you have invested yourself in one of those “2020 Covid Projects”? But a lot of people are doing some interesting things, using the necessity for social distancing as an opportunity to get some stuff done.
- Hardware stores have seen a pick up in sales as homeowners dive into long neglected projects.
- Gardens across America are suddenly manicured and productive (not mine!).
- People are getting to know neighbors they barely knew existed!
- Wannabe chefs are experimenting in their kitchens.
- Streaming services report increased subscriptions.
- “Binge-watching” has become a thing as viewers catch up on television shows they had missed.
- Some have even tried to learn a new language.
For me, and I believe this has happened as a byproduct of what I am already involved in with my writing – I am getting to know the scriptures more intimately.
I have to say (along with Sunday’s column, 7 Reasons to Go to Church) this is an unprecedented opportunity to move forward as a person of faith, and I can’t imagine a more beneficial investment of our energy and time.
And My Point?
All of that gets me to this observation. As I read more scripture and for various reasons (morning devotions; Rebekah’s sermons and her Monday Job study; teaching my class; leading men’s groups; writing these daily posts; research for articles; working on my new book; conversations with friends) I sometimes notice common themes emerging.
Of course, this should not surprise me, because the great arc of the biblical narrative absolutely features consistent threads that run through like strands of DNA.
This morning that strand is light. Light and life. Yesterday’s post reflected on John 1:4 – “In Him (Jesus) was (is) life, and the life was (is) the light of all humankind…”
Then today I have been reading Matthew’s telling of the Sermon on the Mount, specifically 5:14-16 – “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
That’s YOU, and ME – all of us – who are described as “God’s light to the world!”
Just Do It!
I may not be a great Bible scholar, but I am a fairly astute student of life, as well as a stumbling-along practitioner of faith. And if there is anything that grabs our attention during this strange journey through 2020, then I believe the choice to pursue a more intentional engagement with God is perhaps the best we can do.
We can do this most effectively via simple repetition and participation with our local faith community.
- Attend virtual church – and do it faithfully. This is best when “live” but if not then as soon as possible. Hear this: The discipline of putting other things aside in order to worship together has an absolute spiritual benefit!
- Attend a Bible-study group during the week.
- Read a daily devotional guide at the start of every day.
- Make a habit of prayer (there are many ways to establish this, but prayer will become more natural the more you do it).
- Ask God to lead you into service, taking your practice of faith as light into this world.
As per usual, I have run out of space. But please consider this, my challenge to you: Isn’t this a good time to up your spiritual game?
Peace – in every way – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.