a Comic

I printed out this comic and taped it up at my desk, where it delights me every day:
http://www.whiteninjacomics.com/comics/failingmarriage.shtml

If only I had thought to post this instead of my sappy anniversary post! I am happy to say that Matt and I have not yet resorted to this tactic to solve our issues 🙂

To satirize religion instead of relationships, I like to imagine this comic with just a slight variation:

  • Comic title – White Ninja saves a soul
  • First frame script – “forget the counselling, I’ve figured out how to solve all of your life issues”
  • Second frame – “the gospel”
Irreverently,

Alyssa

Oil

Our preacher this Sunday spoke on Psalm 23, focusing on verses 5 and 6. In the sermon he also commented on the parable of the ten virgins – five wise and five foolish. The only difference between the wise virgins and foolish virgins was whether or not they had enough oil, and the preacher used OIL as an acrostic to describe what it represents in terms of believers being prepared as we wait for our bridegroom (Jesus!) to return. This is one of the few acrostics I have heard/seen used in a sermon that actually enhanced my memory and understanding of the preacher’s point, so I thought I’d share:

O – obedience
I – intimacy (not waiting for death and eternal life in heaven to participate in the intimate, personal, real relationship we can have with God through Jesus)
L – love (I prefer longing here, because it is less vulnerable to cliche. We must truly long for Jesus to come back because we love him)

It was also a pretty sweet sermon because it was a communion Sunday, and he reminded us that communion is not only a remembrance of the Last Supper, but an anticipation of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

All in all, God was very generous with himself to me this Sunday =)

Language

I was reminded this Sunday of how meaningful it is to worship in one’s own language. It is easy to forget in Canada, but it was something I learned the hard way in Brazil, where it was often very lonely and unfulfilled to stumble through worship songs in Portuguese, focusing more on phonics than God. I could sing or pray or cry to God in English any time, but communal worship is an integral part of Christian practice, and I missed it. One week Joyce (the missionary who hosted me) took me to an English-speaking church in Brasilia, and I loved it so much. I soaked in the announcements, sang from the heart, took notes during the sermon, and read the bulletin as if it was the 67th book of the Bible (youth group to play board games at the Walkers on Thursday? Amazing!).

Church is always in my language now, and my heart has been lazy to appreciate it. I have been struggling on and off to really worship God at church this summer, but I loved this past Sunday because we had someone sing special music in Tamil. The English translation of the song was printed in the bulletin, so everybody could read the words, and the words were beautiful, but they weren’t what struck me. My heart was touched when part way through the song and again at the end, I heard the Tamil people in the pew behind me humming and singing along under their breath with the singer. It reminded me of my longing for English worship, and I was humbled to remember that these people participate every week in our English service without complaining that the language of their hearts is not represented.

(We) English speakers find a lot to complain about in our church services – too long, not enough time spent on a certain aspect, wrong type of music, hating that we repeat a chorus 9 times, wishing people were “more spiritual,” wishing people would mind their business about our spirituality – what a miracle that in heaven we will still have our differences but without any division – “a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all trives and peoples and tongues, standing before the throng and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches [in] their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:9-10)