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Why go to church? Why write a blog?

December 19, 2010

When I was a pastor, I felt like (for a while there anyway) my blog was an extension of my teaching ministry.  I blogged for other people.  Now if I am to start blogging again, I think I’m just doing it for myself.  So I don’t know if you’ll want to read it anymore or not.  If you’re looking for some pastoring, you’ll probably be disappointed.  But if you’re my friend and you’re just curious what’s been going on in my head, then maybe it’ll hold your interest.

This fall semester has been the first time in my life that I’ve really struggled to find a few minutes a day to read the Bible.   The greatest blessing of being a pastor was that I could spend hours a day in the Word and still have hours a day left over.  I am confident that God has good reasons for giving me a new vocation.  But some days I do grieve the loss.

So I’m going to try to enumerate some of the upsides of these new limits on my time for the spiritual disciplines.  First, I am experiencing what I have always professed to believe–that I don’t sustain my spiritual life by holding on to God through my devotions, but that God is holding on to me.   Second, I am gaining understanding and empathy for the challenges other Christians have faced in their vocations.   Third, I long for Sunday morning more than ever and find it to be the oasis in my week.

I need to go on more about that one.  Maybe one use for this blog can be to journal about the things I receive on Sunday mornings.   Last week, the gospel text was Luke 7, where John the Baptist is put into prison and sends to Jesus asking, “Are you the One who is to come, or shall we look for another?”  My pastor pointed out that until John was thrown in prison, he had been on quite a roll.  His ministry had been very popular.  But now he is tempted to impatience and disillusionment with Jesus.  Sometimes I am tempted to feel like I’ve been cast aside.  But my pastor talked about vocation and brought the good news that God isn’t done with us.

Then during the Lord’s Prayer I had one of those ineffable moments.   As I spoke the words, “Thy Kingdom come,”  the Holy Spirit enabled me to believe that the Kingdom is my future, and so it doesn’t really matter that much what kind of job I get if and when I finish law school.  I hope and trust he’ll use my work to shape a stone or two for the walls of the New Jerusalem.   But even if I never see how my work fits in, still the Kingdom is coming.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2010 1:28 am

    I’m not sure you’d be much into his theology (heck, I can barely discern if he has any), but you might find David Hayward’s blog (nakedpastor) interesting from the perspective of another person who has left pastoral ministry and is working through the next phase of his life. If nothing else, he has some excellent artwork :) Hope all of you are well and able to get some rest during the busyness of the Advent season.

    • December 24, 2010 3:18 pm

      thanks, Beth. I’ve read him a little bit. iMonk was a fan. I’ll check him out through new lenses.

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