So today the nation prays. May 1, the National Day of Prayer, according to some. We are joining in at Northwest, though I’m sure our prayer time will be somewhat different than most. We’re doing another Taize service, as we did on Good Friday. Quiet, dark, candles, repetitive, meditative music, and one pretty spectacular prayer being read from George Washington’s prayer journals. (7:00 p.m. at the Northwest Church in Shoreline.)
It is to be a day of repentance. The one thing almost everyone agrees on is that the country needs to repent. It’s just that we differ on what should be repented of, what the chief sins are.
Of course, what is a “sin” if there is no God? Holiness is so far from our minds as to be near-laughable. We are about expression and authenticity, claiming freedom and grace as the catalysts for both, and I am thrilled we live in such understanding these days. But freedom and grace are in taut tension with holiness and responsibility, especially when Jesus calls us over and over to “pick up our cross ” daily. Self-denial seems antithetical to freedom, and how our “freedom” can be imprisonment is beyond us. There are freedoms to do things, and there are freedoms to refrain from things. In all areas of expertise (been saying this for years, yet heeding it far too little), discipline is the only path to freedom. In the acquisition of any skill, to do just what you want is the path to chaos and ignorance, while yielding to the master and the knowledge of the field leads to ever-increasing freedom in the use of the skills and expertise.
Repentance. How is life to be lived? I will yield a bit more to the Master today, hoping to take another step to freedom. “Glory to glory” Paul called it. Old glory, indeed.
He is King of the Nations…