Category Archives: Devin Nuggets

I am cheese

It is no secrete that Flannery O’Connor is a bit of a hero of mine. Her writings have been very influential to me these past few years at seminary, but not in a normal way. I’ve read a lot of Barth and he has shaped my theology more than any other theologian and I never miss an opportunity to talk to people about him, but with Ms. O’Connor, it has been a more of a private journey. She has shaped my spiritual life– of which I don’t talk to many people about.

With that being said, I have recently found a prayer she wrote. This prayer describes my journey this semester.

What I am asking for is really very ridiculous. Oh Lord, I am saying, at present I am a cheese, make me a mystic, immediately. But then God can do that—make a mystic out of cheeses. But why should He do it for an ingrate slothful & dirty creature like me. I can’t stay in the church to say a Thanksgiving even and as for preparing for Communion the night before—thoughts all elsewhere. The Rosary is mere rote for me while I think of other and usually impious things. But I would like to be a mystic and immediately. But dear God please give me some place, no matter how small, but let me know it and keep it. If I am the one to wash the second step everyday, let me know it and let me wash it and let my heart overflow with love washing it. God loves us, God needs us. My soul too. So then take it dear God because it knows that You are all it should want and if it were wise You would be all it would want and the times it thinks wise. You are all it does want, and it wants more and more to want You. Its demands are absurd. It’s a moth who would be king, a stupid slothful thing, a foolish thing, who wants God, who made the earth, to be its Lover. Immediately.

If I could only hold God in my mind. If I could only always just think of Him.

This has been my journey this semester.

Lord, I am cheese. Make me a mystic.

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Wednesday Afternoon Kierkegaard

kierkegaard

Found this quote recently by our good friend Søren and it really hit home. As Christians, knowing this is true for some of us, how then should we react?

In addition to my many acquaintances, I have one more intimate confidant— my depression.  In the midst of my joy, in the midst of my work, she beckons to me, calls me aside, even though physically I remain on the spot. My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known, no wonder, then, that I return the love. 

Theology and Humor

I think a healthy approach to theology is of the utmost importance.  I think this quote by Thomas Oden pretty much hits the nail on the head.

Because of piety’s penchant for taking itself too seriously, theology does well to nurture a modest, unguarded sense of comedy. Some droll sensibilities required to keep in due proportion the pompous pretensions of the study of divinity.
I invite the kind of laughter that wells up not from cynicism about reflecting on God buyt from the ironic contradictions accompanying such reflection. Theology is intrinsically funny. This comes from glimpsing the incongruity of humans thinking about God. I have often laughed at myself as these sentences went through their torturous stages of formation. I invite you to look for the comic dimension of divinity that stalks every page. It is not blasphamy to grasp the human contradiction for what it is. The most enjoyable of all subjects has to be God, because God is the source of all joy.

Eric Clapton, Isaiah, and the Presence of the Lord.

Eric Clapton wrote a song called The Presence of The Lord.

This raises a question. What should our reaction be to being in the presence of the Lord? Should we react like the Seraphim, shouting “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts, the Earth is filled with His glory!” Or should we react like Isaiah, filled with reverent fear, saying “Woe is me! I am destroyed! For I am a man of unclean lips!”

Paul saw this also; ” I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”

It is through Christ that we can rejoice with the Seraphim in like manner and shout unto our creator “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts and the Earth is filled with His glory!”  It is through Christ that we have finally found a place to live, we can live in the presence and the color of the Lord.

-Your humble servant

Christmas Time

As we approach Christmas morning we can not forget what that morning is all about.

Malachai Knew

“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

 “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against thesorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the Lord of hosts. “For I, theLord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.

And Isaiah knew

Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

Even James Earl Jones knows!

Christ came down to save us. His name is עִמָּנוּאֵל, God with us!

Let us not forget.

–Your humble servant

The Purpose of Hebrew

I’ve Been studying Hebrew for the past week trying to prepare for my final on friday. This will be short as I still have much to study.

I was having one of the usual anxiety attacks and I started to question why I am doing this. What am I here for. And then I came across this verse in my translating.

כִּי־יֶ֣לֶד יֻלַּד־לָ֗נוּ בֵּ֚ן נִתַּן־לָ֔נוּ וַתְּהִ֥י הַמִּשְׂרָ֖ה עַל־שִׁכְמֹ֑ו וַיִּקְרָ֨א שְׁמֹ֜ו פֶּ֠לֶא יֹועֵץ֙ אֵ֣ל גִּבֹּ֔ור אֲבִיעַ֖ד שַׂר־שָׁלֹֽום

For those of you who don’t read Hebrew because you have lives, it is Isaiah 9:6.

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

And that is what it is all about, that’s what everything is about.

-Your Humble Servant.

A True Missional Church

A true missional church is is a community of broken, reconciled people seeking the reconciliation of other broken people.  A true missional church is always reaching out to reconcile and is in no way content with brokeness.  A true missional church is immersed in a mission that is theological and not just tactics.