As a young man, Benedict left his hometown of Nursia, journeying to Rome to continue his education. His time in Rome left him deeply troubled, the city apparently overcome by paganism and depravity. Eventually, Benedict simply tired of people. Seeking solitude and quite, he moved to a cave near Subiaco (about 30 miles east of Rome).
The verse we are using for this month’s assurance of pardon is a familiar one – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1st John 1:9). The word “confess” is a compound Greek word that literally means “to say the same thing.” In other words, when we confess our sins, we are saying the same thing about our thoughts, words, and deeds, that God would say about them. If we do that – if we own up to our sins, then God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us.
The Commons Podcast is back, and this new season brings you lots of great interviews and conversations on school life and leadership! Here are some snapshots of what you can expect:
Recently, the Church celebrated the feast of Pentecost, when God fulfilled His promise by giving the gift of the Holy Spirit, who is sent to teach, comfort, and strengthen the Church as we carry out the Lord’s commission (Matthew 28:16-20, Acts 1:8). And, when we see the manner in which God fulfilled that promise, we again hear several echoes and connections with the Old Testament.
From the very beginning, God has ordered our days. In the Creation week, He made the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night. He rested on the seventh day, giving us a pattern of work and rest to follow in our own lives. Our calendars have, however, become far more numerous and complicated - work calendars, family calendars, and school calendars now direct how we spend our time. Sadly, the Church calendar is rarely the one setting the rhythm of life, even for Christians.
Note to the reader: This was written several years ago, so it is technically a “throwback” post, but it seemed a particularly appropriate time in our history to share it again.
“Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.”
- From “Manifesto: Mad Farmer Liberation Front” by Wendell Berry
A child’s education is about much more than what goes on in “schooling” proper. Education is not an 8am-3pm proposition. It is taking place all the time - in the culture they are being given in their home and family, in the culture they are being exposed to outside of the home (at school, in social media, technology, friends, etc.), and in what they formally learn in both school/homeschool and church.
When I was in EMT school, on one of the first days, our instructor was putting us through scenarios. “You are dispatched to a call for a man down. You arrive and find the patient face-down, with a weak pulse, and shallow, slow breathing. What do you do?” I’ll never forget when one of my classmates raised his hand and shouted out confidently, “Call 911!” I’m not sure I can even describe the look on our instructor’s face when he said, “YOU ARE 911!”
Like Matthew, John begins his gospel at the beginning. Matthew’s gospel opens with the genealogy or the “genesis” of Jesus Christ and John opens with an even more direct reference to Genesis – “In the beginning…” John then adds that the Word was the Creator. The Word “was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (1:1-5).
Christ is the New Creation, the One in whom all things are made new. Verse 4 echoes this – “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
“It will not be so in the Resurrection,” I told myself as I walked through the parking lot. I climbed into my truck, started the engine, and began the short drive home, repeating the words and trying to adjust my mind to return to my family - back to scenes of rest, laughter, and playing.