‘Six days invisible; One day incomprehensible’ (Part 4)

Last week’s quote may not be the sort of language you’d imagine finding in one of my blogs, though of course you might, but I found its very colourfulness hard to resist! Peterson writes comparing the gathering for worship with people’s daily lives through the lens of sermon texts found in Revelation.

Revelation’s very graphic language lends itself to the worlds we work, rest and play in. ‘Dragons and whores’ are a very vivid way of describing the idolatrous and blasphemous world we all live in, because it is a world that is far from the living God. Yet, and this is something we need to cling tightly to, is that it is still a good and God-made world that testifies to his faithfulness, mercy and love. It’s just that at times it’s hard to see it.

But Peterson is not only thinking about the moment of corporate worship compared to our daily lives; he is also speaking to people like me. He reminds me that everyone who watches our weekly worship does not live in the world I live in as a Pastor. I know that part of who I am is to be invisible that I may soak myself within the world and story of scripture and the presence of God. But the danger is that I then become incomprehensible because I foolishly imagine you live in this world too.

Instead, I must remind myself of the world we all live in, is a world where ‘dragons and whores’ can both terrorise and tempt us all to abandon the way of Jesus. When I sit on the platform ready to record, I must remind myself that you seated at home need to hear the word of the Father, to feel the breath of the Spirit and know the consolation of the Son.

But, there is more.

This is not my responsibility alone. Since we are all priests of the living God so we all need to be enriched by his presence, his Word and his Spirit that we may therefore enrich each other. We remind ourselves that God’s good world is sadly a place of fears and temptations too that we might neither fear nor fall. Yet, as priests we think not just of ourselves but of each other too that none of us may be afraid or fall into sin.

Here is another for you – what does it say to you?

“In a poem by Denise Levertov she describes a dog going ‘intently haphazard.’ I can see that dog. I used to own that dog, going from bush to fire hydrant to tree, sniffing his way along, pausing momentarily to add his scent to what he had just come across, ‘intently haphazard.’ Something like that is the way pastor feels to me.”

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