A Daily Dose of Good News
Monday, November 9, 2020
After 10:30 today, this devotional will be offered online at
A printer-friendly version of today’s devotion is available at DDGN 20201109
Good morning! It is November 9, another beautiful Fall day here. We’re starting our Daily Dose of Good News in 1 Corinthians 13:20-25. So feel free to read along…
Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; rather, be infants in evil, but in thinking be adults. In the law it is written,
“By people of strange tongues
and by the lips of foreigners
I will speak to this people;
yet even then they will not listen to me,”
says the Lord. Tongues, then, are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers. If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if all prophesy, an unbeliever or outsider who enters is reproved by all and called to account by all. After the secrets of the unbeliever’s heart are disclosed, that person will bow down before God and worship him, declaring, “God is really among you.”
Here ends the reading.
This may feel like a strange text for me to pick this morning, out of the lectionary. But, I think it speaks to a few different ways we communicate with each other.
As you all know, speaking in tongues is one of the things that is mentioned often, in Acts, as a way that God communicates God’s will among God’s people. Not everybody has the gift of tongues, not everyone speaks in tongues, some people do, some people don’t. It doesn’t mean you’re any more or less of a Christian – if you do or if you don’t! You’re loved no matter what! So, part of what this text talks about is tongues- and how that is foreign. People hear speaking in tongues, and don’t understand it, and it seems crazy and like people are out of their mind, ok? But, the next part about this is about prophesying. If you prophesy, if you’re speaking God’s heart, and God’s mind, and God’s will, people will hear that in a deep way in their hearts and in their souls, and it will resonate with them. Even though it’s through the mouth of people, it will resonate with them as being the Word of God, spoken through people. And that will be understandable, and intelligible, no matter what.
But, it does require being a bit out of one’s comfort zone. It does require intentional engagement. In that, it calls us to be adults in how we think about it. Not to be children, but to be adults. I think about how children would be afraid of things that are different, or afraid of things that are unfamiliar or which might challenge them. But as adults, we can ground ourselves in seeking Christ, and seeking God in our lives, and to pursue that. I think about a couple of ways this might practically apply to us right now, and two come to mind almost immediately.
One is, now that we are through the election, we have people on both sides who are going to feel like foreigners to us. We’re going to feel like ‘I don’t understand what you’re saying. I don’t understand that, I don’t believe that, I don’t agree with that’. There are going to be differences in that and it’s going to raise a level of discomfort. So, let’s own that, OK? Let’s also own that we are, as it says at the very beginning of this passage, we are brothers and sisters. OK? We’re called to hear each other and to hear God in the midst of what each other is speaking. So no matter what political party people lean in, no matter who they voted for, no matter what they’re saying – listen! for God in the midst of that. At the beginning, it may feel like ‘they’re out of their mind! I don’t even understand what they’re saying!’. Because God does speak through us – to each other. So I encourage you in that. Even if that feels awkward and uncomfortable and hard. We are brothers and sisters, and God is going to speak through us.
The second way I think of that, is through racial justice, which has a book discussion tonight. I realize with the events of the past week, you may not have gotten to that book, you may not have ordered that book, you may not have read a page of that book! If I could tell you how many times in seminary, I was having a discussion and hadn’t finished the reading… (laughs). Know that I get it! But, I think there’s something that calls us to coming and talking about something we don’t understand, either. In some ways, that may feel like a foreign, or another culture. Black culture can be another culture from White culture. That’s a true reality and we don’t always talk about that. Sometimes we don’t even act like there are any differences. But there are differences, and it would be helpful if we engaged with each other in talking about some of that. While it might feel foreign, and like another language at first, God also speaks in that. And I invite you to come. Tonight we’re going to discuss at 7:30pm, there’s a zoom invitation online. If you go to Latest Posts on the main website, it’ll be under Ministry News, or click on the Newsletter for last week. Either way, there’s a zoom address on there under Racial Justice and you click on it or you come in person. Just come. And listen. You don’t even have to say a word. You can just come and listen and be open to hearing God in whatever comes out of that discussion – of how we relate to one another as brothers and sisters. It may feel foreign and it may feel uncomfortable. And, again, I get that. The very first time I went to Women’s Bible Study at age 30, I remember saying to the Pastor who invited me: “I don’t think I’ll have anything in common with the people who are there. And I don’t even know what to say”. And what he said to me was: “Just come. You can sit right next to me. And you don’t have to say a word”. So, I would extend that same invitation to all of you… Elizabeth Sammons is going to lead it. I will be squealing in from one of my kids’ events, so I will be there too. Just come. Sit on the zoom screen, next to us. Sit on a chair, at church, next to us. You don’t have to say a word. You can just be present. And be open to where God might be stirring your heart and in what things God might be speaking to you, to me, to all of us. Even if it sounds foreign. Even if we’re uncomfortable. This Racial Justice team is all along the spectrum. So, know that many team members have stepped into this, not knowing how they felt about any of it, and being confused and just basically curious, of: ‘I wanna be open to discussion, understanding, exploring, thinking, challenging and growing- in whatever way God leads’.
So, two ways that I think we can step into that: whether that is politically or whether that is racially. Just looking at our world in the places that feel foreign and being open to God, being present in the midst of that. Hearing God in the midst of that. Have a wonderful day. Bye-bye.