I am getting ridiculously ahead of myself at the moment. I have already prepared the service for this Sunday morning at our church; I have the talks ready for two sessions next week; we have planned the Easter Morning service at our church; I only have to finish planning for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Services… phew! It’s a good thing that God does not limit his Spirit’s inspiration to a certain period before events.
I used to think that he did. Yes, honestly! It was to do with prayers and liturgy that had been prepared and written down in advance. Shamefully I have to admit that I (perhaps subconsciously) used to think that they were not as inspired as prayers and liturgy that emerged ‘in the moment’. I had no theology behind my attitude, merely free-church prejudice. And I was unaware of the blatant hypocrisy of this attitude.
You see, I hold the Bible very dearly to me. It is the most wonderful book written and is the scaffolding that supports me as my life and faith are built up day by day. But if I was correct (that inspiration ‘in the moment’ trumps inspiration that has been written down beforehand) surely I had to discount the Bible as being less reliable, less inspired than any thoughts that come to me today which I believe come from God. That leads to a whimsical faith which is subject to being blown around by whatever fads are current in the church and influenced as much by how much cheese I have eaten as by God. That is not to say that God is unreliable, but I am.
On the other hand, if the Bible is the collection of writings of people who have been inspired to write by God’s Spirit, as I believe it to be I cannot be disparaging about prayers, liturgies and poems that have been written down beforehand. They do need to be weighed against the Bible, but they can be as God-inspired and infused as any contemporaneous prayer… and in fact are often more helpful because there has been time to hone and refine and for God’s Spirit to edit out the bits that are not of him!
I hope that the same may be true of all that I prepare this week in advance of next week!
Be blessed, be a blessing.
Perspectives on History History is boring, history is bunk It leaves me snoring, looking at junk Stuff that happened years ago can’t help me today It’s out of date if it happened yesterday History is boring deep down into the past Illuminating old things to light our current path If Og hadn’t invented the wheel and fire We’d still be darkly walking everywhere