"How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God."
-- Psalm 84:1-2 (NIV)
Read this during quiet time this morning. And lo and behold, what song should we sing at church but Matt Redman's 'Better is One Day'.
There was much to think about today, reading the text from Acts 9:36-43.
Sivin said, "God is not interested in death, but resurrection, and that is the message of Acts."
In speaking of Peter living with Simon the tanner, and in so doing bridging Jewish prejudices, Peter was living the kind of life Jesus preached. The psalmist speaks of how lovely it is to dwell in the presence of God, and I can imagine that a misreading of this desire can lead us to isolate ourselves from the 'world' around us.
Surely the house of Simon the tanner must have seemed akin to the 'tents of the wicked' (Psalm 84:10), but Peter was beginning to understand what it meant to be like Jesus, to be, as Brian McLaren once put it, 'scandalously inclusive'.
And this must be what it means to be a 'resurrection church', as Sivin dubbed BLC. For that matter, it is what defines a 'resurrection Christian' also, i.e. one who embodies the resurrected Christ in his or her life.
Sivin also contrasted icons and idols, in which the latter is something that takes God's place, while the former is a window into the ministry of God.
As an painter and a photographer, I appreciate this, even as I appreciate the function of icons, and at times I cannot understand when Christians fail to distinguish the two. I do not think, for instance, that praying while looking at a photograph of my father is the same as praying to my father.
And the revelation of the day...
We need a Chinese word for 'deconstruct' (as opposed to 'destruct')!