I’ve got a few random thoughts on stuff I’ve read and seen, so I thought I’d put them all together.
- Preaching on Christmas day at a homeless shelter.
- My pastor Lee Connors works at the Bellingham homeless shelter, and he invited us to minister there on Christmas night. What do you say to 100 homeless people on Christmas day about grace and the love of God? I’ve been in some tight spots, but I can’t say I’ve ever been homeless, and I’m sure it is difficult on such a holiday. I chose John 1:1-5, 1:14. I centered on the fact that the word became flesh and dwelt among us. His dwelling was homeless and humble on the day of His birth, and during the days of His ministry, and on the day of His death. If there is anyone he dwelt with, that He has special compassion for, it is the disenfranchised. Betty sang O Holy Night and some other songs with Rosemary Connors, our church’s worship leader, and many were crying and touched. He dwelt with us that night!
- Watched the move “Inception”
- Did anyone else catch that the worst problem Leonardo DiCaprio’s character faced was his guilt? He hid it from everyone until the end. He planted the idea that killed his wife. He struggled terribly with the guilt of it. It was his guilt, his endeavor to redeem himself, that fueled all of his deeds through the whole movie. Our worst problem is our guilt, and in general we are ill equipped to deal with it. Grace is the crying need of everyone.
- Finished reading The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham
- It hit me as the American version of Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. My main thoughts were that the views he had of the Christian God were horrendously legalistic, and if that were indeed the main thrust of the Christian faith, it would be right to move on. I conjecture that it is possible that the church from 1900 through the 1950’s lost its grasp of the gospel of grace, and if we don’t offer the message of grace we don’t really have anything true to say to the seeking. I found the ultimate spiritual truth the main character arrived at shallow and impossibly vague and also terribly burdensome. I loved the characters and the writing. I’m so glad I finally read it.
- Watched the movie “Paper Man”
- A wonderful and strangely quirky movie with Jeff Daniels and Lisa Kudrow. It reminds me that the friendship he had with the girl in the movie, who was wonderful, was a scandalous and very redeeming thing for both of them. People find grace and power to heal even when there is no precedent and no support for it, but only scandal. It makes grace all the more magical and fragile and beautiful. I loved this movie, just loved it.