Putting Yourself Out There

This week we picked back up our series, Generations. Having covered Generation Z and the Millennials, this week we turned our attention to Generation X. If members of Gen X have gotten things right before this season of their life, they are following Jesus faithfully and growing intentionally in their relationship with Him. But what’s next? That’s what we’ll be talking about here. If you are a member of Generation X (or even if you’re not) read on to find out what you need to be doing to get your relationship with Jesus right.

Putting Yourself Out There

So, the boys decided that they want to run cross country next fall. They’ve done Running Club and participated in Albemarle’s Mini Medley for the last couple of years, but this will be full-on cross country. It’ll actually be the first official sports team the STEM School is going to field which I think will be a great thing for the school. In any event, we didn’t want them to start running cross country completely cold in the fall, so we encouraged them to start running this summer. Simply sending them to go run wasn’t going to work, though. So, I committed to going with them any morning they wanted to run. I’m trying to think of the last time in my life I did any meaningful running. It’s been a couple of years…or decades…something of which my body has been all too happy to remind me over the last couple of weeks. Running like this is fun…if you’re just a bit deranged…but even more than that, it is an investment. Our bodies are a gift from God, and this is one way we can invest in them wisely. I’ll let you know when I can walk without wincing again.

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Digging in Deeper: 2 Corinthians 7:8-10

“For even if I grieved you with my letter, I don’t regret it. And if I regretted it – since I saw that the letter grieved you, yet only for a while – I now rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance. For you were grieved as God willed, so that you didn’t experience any loss from us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly grief produces death.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In a world without God, we are haunted by death. Let me be more specific: In a world without Christ, we are haunted by death. In his letter to the Thessalonian believers, the apostle Paul wrote encouraging them to grieve for their lost loved ones who died in Christ like the people of faith they were and not as those who had no hope. There is indeed a difference between the two. And if last year’s hit Disney+ series, Wandavision explored the process of grieving (something I wrote about here), this year’s latest Marvel movie, Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, helps to highlight the difference. Absent time to go see it in the theaters, the film final released on Disney+ this week, I have watched it from start to finish, and am at last ready to offer up some thoughts. If you haven’t seen the movie, this review is going to be full of spoilers, so proceed with caution. If you’ve already seen it, here’s what I think.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 6:1-3

“Therefore, let us leave the elementary teaching about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God, teaching about ritual washings, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And we will do this if God permits.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Living things grow. All of them. If there is something that is living, that something is growing. Now, what growth looks like isn’t the same for every living thing. Our oldest has grown something like eight inches in the last eighteen months (we’re taking up a collection for clothes and shoes…). His growth has been hard to miss. I haven’t gained an inch of height in decades (although I have gained a bit about the midsection). My growth looks different from his. But we’re both living and so we’re both growing. As the author of Hebrews begins a section that is perhaps the most infamously uncomfortable of the whole letter, he continues the argument we looked at yesterday that a living faith must be a growing faith. Let’s start here and then next week we’ll continue working through these challenging verses together.

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Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 5:11-14

“We have a great deal to say about this, and it is difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature – for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Did you ever have a bad teacher when you were in school? I don’t just mean a teacher you didn’t like or who wasn’t particularly kind. I’m talking about a teacher who was genuinely not good at teaching. He stood there and lectured endlessly about things no one really understood and never really explained them or entertained questions. He tried so hard to be cool that he never really got around to the teaching part of his job, but then tested you anyway. He covered a difficult subject that he never quite unpacked sufficiently that anyone was following along with him. Bad teachers are frustrating. But sometimes our lack of understanding isn’t a teacher’s fault…it’s ours. We just don’t want to own it, so we blame someone else. The author of Hebrews has been covering some tough stuff so far. He’d like to go further with it, but he knows his audience won’t understand because they’re just average students. He challenges them on this here and leaves us with something to think about in our own lives. Let’s take a minute this morning to do that.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 5:7-10

“During his earthly life, he offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was the Son, he learned obedience from what he suffered. After he was perfected, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, and he was declared by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Process matters. There are certain things for which the process of getting there is as important as the getting there itself is. Or, perhaps to put that another way, there are some things for which the journey is as important as the destination. Getting a diploma – whether high school or college – is like that. Having the piece of paper that says you’ve done it is a good thing. Going through the process of learning and growing over the span of four years, though, can be just as important. You are not the same person coming out as you were when you started. The author of Hebrews here is talking about the process Jesus went through to become our ultimate high priest and Savior. Let’s join him and talk about why it mattered.

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