Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Vicar's Voice--September 2010

As I begin to work on this newsletter, I’m told that it is the hottest day of the year in this part of Texas (106°). It certainly seems like it has been the hottest summer ever. Yet my mind tells me it only seems that way because I’m in the hottest part of it. It shapes my perspective.

The sweltering heat leads me to forget that little blizzard we had back around Christmas. But it even makes it harder to remember that we never broke 100° here in July, and in fact, Houston has not seen a 100° day all summer. Imagine never breaking the thermometer’s century mark in a Texas summer! But my perspective is shaped by my own experience in the here-and-now.

A Pew Research poll made news recently because it found that only just over a third of Americans (34%) believe that the President of the United States is a Christian. I thought people would never forget all the attention his pastor got back in the election. But that was back then, and the first family doesn’t go to church anymore. When people see the president on Sunday mornings, it is at the golf course. Why is that relevant? It reminds us our experience in the here-and-now shapes our perspective.

We run the risk of losing our Christian perspective when we neglect Sunday worship, Christian fellowship, regular prayer, works of charity and mercy, sacrificial giving, and regular Scripture reading. It’s not unlike a well-toned physique—you use it, or you lose it. Acting like a Christian helps us be one. If someone took a poll, what percentage of people in town would think that you are a Christian?

Let this Fall be a time of renewal. If you have fallen away from good habits or picked up bad ones, let this be a time of getting back to the basics—to the things that shape a Christian perspective in us. The world will be a better place for it, and so will our own souls. And let us be among those who encourage one another along the path of holiness.

One of my favorite passages is Romans 12:2, which says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

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