It is Sunday morning. Today is Super Bowl Sunday. For two weeks there has been lots of focus on this game today. One of the common themes is the amount of dedication and effort required to achieve success.
Today is one of those days where I feel most deeply a sense of failure. I know today millions of Christians will spend more dedicated time to their yearly Super Bowl party then they will spend at worship in the next month. Football, after all, is exciting. Worship is not so exciting. Right?
This is no rant. Actually, my frustration is tempered by things I have read. Many church Fathers in the 300's preached about people attending the games of their era. Seems that Christians have struggled with priorities for a very long time. Living in the world it is hard not to be worldly. We Christians have typically not done a bang up job!
The value of study is perspective. It is helpful to really study scripture as well as pray with it. The problem with studying Scripture is how we "study." Often times, we are ignorant of so much else that we end up misinterpreting the message! A wide range of commentaries are needed to see the text from a variety of angles. At least one of the texts needs to be ancient. I also try to hear from a Catholic and Protestant. More on this later.
We are also ignorant of the history of Christian people. We end up making our own cultural assumptions the touch stone for understanding everything else. We end up twisting the message to meet our own expectations. God has been working in and through people for a long time. Many of them are so holy! Learn from them.
Any time some one tells me that "it has never been this bad," I smile. I have read enough history to know that we have not even sniffed "real bad" yet. It has been worse. Unimaginably worse. And it has been worse many times. So study provides us with information which gives us a clearer insight into the real world. It takes the edge off some of our worries and bad feelings. I plan to write more about study and a Rule of Life.