Answer the Question

Dear Doers of the Faith,

I recently went into my bank. I know some of the younger generation are unaware of the reality that people do go into banks. For some online savvy folks a bank visit is a rare sighting. Anyway, I was in mine and the man working with me asked what I did. I said I was a pastor. He said he was Muslim and had hoped to be a professional leader of his faith but it just had not worked out. He asked me, “what it was like to just sit and  pray all day long?” He went on to tell me how he envied my life work and wished he could just pray to God all day long, each day. I did not have the heart to tell him that much of my day is spent doing a host of other things. However, I did leave that conversation asking the question I often ask myself... “is Jesus pleased with how I spend my time."

C. S. Lewis’s devil, Screwtape, advises his apprentice devil that the main way to keep people from the Christian faith is to prevent the potential convert from doing anything.

“ The great thing is to prevent his doing anything . As long as he does not convert into action, it does not matter how much he thinks about new repentance. Let the little brute wallow in it. Let him , if he has any bent that way, write a book about it, that is often an excellent way of sterilizing the seeds which the Enemy plants in the human soul . Let him do anything but act. No amount of piety in his imagination and affectations will harm us if we can keep this out of his will. As one of the humans has said , active habits are strengthened by repetition but passive ones are weakened. The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel."

~Your Affectionate Uncle Screwtape, C.S.  Lewis, The Screwtape Letters and Screwtape Proposes a Toast, 1959, p. 61)

In the gospel of Mark, chapter 10 verse 51, Jesus asks the blind man Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Today Jesus stands before us all saying “what do you want me to do for you?” I hope and pray that you are prepared to answer the question.

My response to Jesus is not that I want the entire day to pray and do nothing else. I yearn for deeper generosity that gives of time and money in a fashion that understands all is of God and from God. I want to be able to master this common teaching of God to love my enemy. Few, if any people I know, frequently forgive those whom they despise. I also want to live in a fashion that knows no fear. God is not the author of fear and I want more of what God has created and nothing else. More than anything, I want  a faith that engages the God of truth in love and action. I want what Jesus wants for all of us- a faith that is felt and threatens that which is evil .

“What do you want Jesus to do for you?”

I hope this week you are actively praying for our upcoming weekend with Peter Mayer and his son Brendon. Worship is at 11am . (There is a brief service of the word and prayer at 9am for those who desire that time.) God is blessing us with the opportunity to reach out and invite, take action and feel what it is like to enter the faith anew with a friend.

Still in One Peace,

Pastor David Jensen

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