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Next in the Anglican Bloggers' Collaborative Series from L&B: Axegrinder
Prydain ^ | 3/15/2006 | Will

Posted on 03/15/2006 1:06:23 PM PST by sionnsar

For today's meditation in the Lent and Beyond Anglican Bloggers' Collaborative Series, we have G.I. Joe on Pilgrimage by Jason Kranzusch, who writes the Axegrinder blog. Please be sure to check this meditation out!

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
Jason Kranzusch: G.I. Joe on Pilgrimage
Filed under: Lent 2006, Anglican Bloggers Lenten Devotionals — webverger @ 3:50 am

This is the seventeenth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals by a group of Anglican bloggers and friends. Today’s entry is by Jason Kranzusch of the Axegrinder blog. You can read other entries in the series here.

G.I. Joe on Pilgrimage

Is it OK to say that preaching is entertaining? I think so, as long as we keep in mind that it is “that and more.” The quirks, humor and life experiences of a preacher come out in his sermons. These things are entertaining.

One of the most entertaining sermons I ever heard was preached by a man named Bert Clendennen. He is an old-time Pentecostal. Brother Clendennen is in his eighties and still going strong. In the early 1990s he retired from the church that he had founded and pastored for 35 years. He was in his late sixties back then.

I guess most pastors probably take a well-deserved rest after such a long ministry. Brother Clendennen did not. He went to Russia and started an intensive, pastoral training course. From there it spread into dozens of other countries.

I was well acquainted with Clendennen for about six years. I am fortunate to have had personal interaction with him around meals at various locales. I grew to love him very much and still have the utmost respect for him.

One thing that attracted me to the Pentecostals with whom I ran for eight years was the fact that they took the faith very seriously. I grew quickly tired of the Bible-study-and-bowling version of Christianity proffered by most youth groups and college fellowships. Something profound had happened to me when I was baptized, and I wanted to follow through on it all the way. I did not like the enervated spirituality that I observed.

Bert Clendennen preached a message in the early 1980s called “Soldiers.” It was delivered impromptu, which isn’t all that uncommon in Pentecostal circles. “Soldiers” is a sermon filled with autobiographical matter relating to Clendennen’s experiences in boot camp and in the Pacific during WWII.

The main thesis of the sermon is that we “endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ Jesus” (2Tim 2:3) for our own well being, for our fellow Christians and for the world. He reminds us that we will suffer in this life, and that our duty (oh, I know that’s a galling word) is to remain faithful regardless of what we face.

It is good that we remember why we are engaging in self-examination and penitence during Lent. We are concerned for our own spiritual well being, but we also want to be able to relate to those around us in a manner that is consistent with God’s holiness. We want to handle ourselves honorably in order to please our God.

It is amazing how often what we read in the Scriptures can be boiled down to the two greatest commandments: love God with all your being and love your neighbor as yourself. Lent is for us; the second greatest commandment assumes that we love ourselves. Lent is for others; we want God’s grace in our lives so that “his ways may be made known in the earth and his salvation to all nations.” Lent is for God; our bodies are for God as he is for our bodies. We want to rid ourselves of anything that indicate otherwise.

I think that those of you with spouses and children may understand better than I do the idea that our penitence during Lent is for others as much as it is for us. When we see how our selfishness, pride, anger, and laziness affects those who are close to us, we feel an increased urgency to be rid of these sins.

We know that God will judge us, our homes and our churches. We want to participate fully in the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We want to be a part of passing on the blessings of God’s covenant.

The story of Lazarus teaches us about not giving up when making supplication for ourselves or others. We know that God will answer, for he is both able and willing. If not now, then in the next life. I’m sorry if that seems like a cop out, but some of us will not be delivered until the consummation of all things.

Such a reality is a great test for our faith, especially for those of us who like drive-thru windows, microwaves, Tivo, direct deposit, DSL, and instant everything. When we hear about one of God’s promises, our response is “show me the money.” “We have great need of patience.”

Our training in morality stretches us to our limits. It is good to know that we can call out to God for help. As we have been progressing through our Lenten pilgrimage we are aware more and more of our own weakness. The collect for Lent 2 reminds us where our strength lies.

“ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

The Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian

“O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother; For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.”

Propers for Morning Prayer

Propers for Evening Prayer

Hack away.

1 posted on 03/15/2006 1:06:26 PM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; axegrinder; AnalogReigns; Uriah_lost; Condor 63; Fractal Trader; Zero Sum; ...
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Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 03/15/2006 1:07:08 PM PST by sionnsar (†† | Libs: Celebrate MY diversity! | Iran Azadi 2006)
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