An excerpt from Jeffrey Meyers’ The Lord’s Service: The Grace of Covenant Renewal Worship, pp. 283-285.
Faith comes from hearing. —Romans 10:7a.
One does not need to read very far into Emily Dickinson’s poetry to discover that her verse often captures the quintessential American religious consciousness. Consider these lines from three of Emily Dickinson’s poems:
A recent post by Jeff Meyers, reproduced in full here with his permission.
I see that the Gospel reading in the lectionary this week is Mark 12: 38-44. I’m preaching through the 10 commandments, so I won’t be commenting on this passage on Sunday. But I would like to give a different perspective on this passage than what is normally heard.
or Discerning the True Sword
“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!”
Philippians 3:2 (NKJV)
Jeff Meyers copped flak for his take on the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. He says the tax collector was justified for his Covenant faithfulness, and the Pharisee was not. Was it not the Pharisee who was faithful? And, either way, is this not justification by works? Has Jeff got night and day around the wrong way?
or The Church with the Big Head
Human talent amazes me. Totally aside from the child prodigies, we are an extremely gifted bunch. After only a couple of decades on the planet, from those who have the opportunity to apply themselves with enthusiasm to their particular area of interest, we see some incredible achievements. For the godless, this should certainly seem miraculous. But for our dark hearts it just proves how smart and wonderful we already are in ourselves. This is the ingratitude Paul speaks of.
For Christians, talent (or beauty or wealth) is just another dead giveaway of God’s existence. And God Himself almost seems to despise this early glory as a short-lived covering of wildflowers that appears suddenly after some long-awaited rain. This is the glory of youth and it is insufferably vain. It exalts itself by calling its competition dumb and ugly.
or Wax Moon Faces and Books with Pores
“It often seems to me that the night is much more
alive and richly colored than the day.”
—Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother Theo in 1888
Last week I had the privilege of viewing seven Van Goghs, all in one room, including Starry Night Over the Rhone, the depth and texture of which has to be seen to be believed.
The impressionists went out of their way not to paint what they saw. They stretched and strained the norms to communicate how it made them feel. They were expounding—explaining—reality. As Jordan writes, made in the image of God, man is the only symbol which is also a symbol-maker.