What I Write About

I write about the infinite number of intersections between every day life and the good news of the God who has come to get us.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Learning to Pray the Scriptures Part Deaux: Saints, Ya'll Being Rich, and Finishing Well

A couple weeks ago I posted about how re-discovering the discipline of praying the Scriptures has re-invigorated my spiritual discipline life. Just this week I started reading 1 Corinthians, and chapter one has been rich. Thought I'd share a couple of things that have been forming me these past couple of days just from the first few verses of chapter one.

Paul asserts in v. 2 that the Corinthians are "called to be saints." If you know anything about Paul's relationship with the folks at Corinth, this must have been a labor for him to write. These people were really, really messed up.

But Paul insists that they're called to be saints--as Christians that is their new, true identity. And so two days ago, I prayed that I would lean into my calling to be a saint. That in my husbanding, parenting, in my relationships with students and friends and family that I would live out saint-li-ness.

This is something that our culture dismisses or mocks. But God delights to call messy people his saints. To become a saint is nothing more than to become fully human, fully alive. All un-saintly behavior is dehumanizing, devastating, destructive to our souls and our relationships. "Saint" is simply biblical short-hand for becoming a real human being. That's what I want to become.

That was my prayer on Monday.

On Tuesday, I got as far as v. 5: that in Christ "you [really: 'ya'll'] have been enriched in every way." Paul here is celebrating the richness of Christ's blessing on the community as each has different spiritual gifts. I prayed that I would recognize the gift of how enriched I've been by the community surrounding me. I prayed for my kids to be surrounded at every stage with a community enriched by Christ in every way, for their marriages to be marked by that same richness in Christ.

The next morning, I looked back on that and realized that the days before had been marked by several significant interactions with people older and wiser than me. I had been enriched, indeed, by the "Christ in ya'll"-ness of the body.

This morning, I got to verse 8: "he [Jesus] will keep you strong to the end so that you will be blameless on the day of the Lord. God is faithful..." Given that I have just under 75 days left of my time at UNC, I couldn't have hand-picked a more perfect verse to lean into. I also prayed God's faithfulness for my family, for myself.

This morning I wrote on the inside of my wrist in pen: "HSTE"--He will keep you Strong to the End. I tried to look at it and recite it throughout my day today on campus.

At this rate, I'll finish 1 Corinthians sometime in 2012...but man, it's been good stuff so far.

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