Friday, September 28, 2012

Life- We have an App for that!

James 5:13-20

Apple recently came out with the iPhone 5. In a few days, over 5 million were sold! I do not have one, but have talked to some owners of iPhones, and the connection (no pun intended) they have to their phone is nearly a religious experience, as is evident in the overnight lines people waited in to be first in line for the newest model. It has a big, bright screen. It does lots of neat things. But the large number of applications available (‘Apps’) seems to be one big reason for its usefulness. There’s an app for almost everything! Apps for fun. Apps for business and accounting. But a major drawback is its application for navigation. As I understand the conversation going on about this- the GPS navigation maps are incomplete! A simple trip in which you use the phone to get you to your destination may not get you to your destination!

In life, we have many issues through which we must navigate. We have sorrows to pray through. We have joy to propel us into singing. We have sickness for which we approach our Lord for healing. We have oppression and violence in this world for which we cry out to God for justice and peace. All of this happens in our daily walk with the rest of the body of Christ, the church, the congregation. Our App for real life occurs in our spiritual family, the church. We come with our brokenness, and we find a life of healing and recovery of the joy of living. Our navigation system is not a new model, but a very old one, which can testify: this App, it works!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Live Well

How do we live well in a troubled world? This has been our human pursuit for millennia. Today 'Live Well' is a pursuit that includes a network, an app, a Facebook page, and more. Something tells us that there is a better way to fo life! So, we look to the advice of those whom we respect, and make note of the knowledge of how to live well that they have gleaned over a lifetime. We call it wisdom. We need it today as much as any time in history! In the third chapter of the New Testament book of James we hear that wisdom includes living well, living wisely, living humbly. It’s this humbly part that we need so desperately! Behind all the current violence and war, political bashing, and every kind of verbal wrangling, there is an atmosphere that is far from humble. And it is this that leads to skirmishes. That’s the situation that the letter of James addresses, and it reads like a prescription to today’s headlines! True wisdom, truly living well is shown in how much we understand that to live well we live at peace with each other. We seek mercy and blessing, and we find it if we choose to live it! We don’t find it in finger pointing, but we find it as we each, and we together, decide that as far as it depends upon us, we will live in peace. Jesus showed us this life of peace, of a Shalom that our hearts desire. Lord, give us the wisdom to live well, live wisely, live humbly! This is my prayer.