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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

I've been reading Eugene Peterson's Book A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. Isn't that a great title?

The book is a commentary on the Songs of Accents found in Psalms 120 to 134. The Songs of Assents were what the Israelites would sing on their way up the hill to the temple when they were making their pilgrimages. These Psalms reminded them during the tough trek uphill why they were going and what their faith is about.

Today I was looking at the chapter on Psalm 132. The point is that in our Christian life we must have the, "strength to stand and the willingness to leap." A Christian standing just a statue, and one who has no roots and jumps around is nothing but a 'jumping jack'.

The essence of all this is that to be effective we must be grounded in our faith. To know our personal, individual history with God as well as the communal history of the church. This keeps our feet grounded and our path sure.

However, without the leap of faith the future never comes and our Christianity becomes stagnant and dull. We must grow, learn, fail - step out in leaps of faith to advance the work of the KIngdom of God in our life and the world.

Peterson says, "What we require is obedience, the strength to stand and the willingness to leap, and the sense to know when to do which. Which is exactly what we get when an accurate memory of God's ways is combined with a lively hope in his promises." (p. 171)

Oh God, that I would have the strength to stand and the willingness to leap!

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