- Psalm 1 (VU p.724)
- 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 4:6-10
- Luke 2: 40, 52
Early Thoughts: What did you learn today? I remember being asked that question as I returned to my billet following a Presbytery meeting 16 years ago. The premise behind it was that any day on which you learned something was not a waste. I have always liked that premise (though I am not sure that I can accurately say that I learn something every day....).
In the song "If I Were a Rich Man" Tevye shares many dreams about what would happen if he had a small fortune. One of those dreams is that he would have the "time that I lack to sit in the synagogue and pray, and maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall. And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day. That would be the sweetest thing of all." One of his fondest dreams is to have the time to learn and grow in his faith. In this I hear echos of Psalm 1 which describes the rooted-ness of those whose delight is in the Law, in the gift of God's Word.
A paragraph or two ago I said I was not sure I learned something every day. I am about to hedge on that a bit. I think we do learn things everyday. I am not sure we can help but learn something. Because as we live we learn. If in no other school than the school of experience (I used to have a book with a title something like If Experience is the Best Teacher How Come I Keep Taking the Course). Of course not all the things we learn that way are helpful or healthy or desirable. However if we are going to grow as individuals we need to keep learning. In the end, we only grow deeper in faith by learning: learning about the faith story, learning about ourselves, learning where/how/why our story intersects the faith story, learning how we experience God's presence in our lives.
So what have you learned lately?
This Sunday we mark the end of our Sunday School program year. And we thank those who have offered their time and energy to provide leadership in that program. But we hope that learning continues over the summer. As people of faith, when we learn about ourselves we have the chance to learn about God as well. As people of faith we have a duty to try and focus our learning in the way that the writer of 1 Timothy suggests "you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with profane myths and old wives’ tales. Train yourself in godliness, ... For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe."
What might you learn over the summer?
Together let us continue to live and learn and grow in faith, in wisdom, in love.
PS: the sermon this Sunday will very likely contain a story about the first time I took part in the act of preaching...