Today, I’d like to talk about the important relationship between the every-day and the sacred.
This photograph, taken with my iPhone pressed up against the massive windows in the cafeteria at the Tampa Ikea store, does a great job of illustrating my thinking. Then, first thing this morning at church, the men’s breakfast I attended accomplished pretty-much the same thing.
PHOTOGRAPH: But I’ll start with the photo. Rebekah and I had been furniture shopping, running all over the Tampa metro area in search of a sofa. We didn’t purchase anything at Ikea, but we did pause for coffee and that was when I noticed the sky.
What struck me was the way that the great dome of the sky gave definition and even beauty to the concrete, the steel, and even the sprawl of a parking lot. Rather than show up the mess we humans so often make of things, creation often invites our bumbling efforts into a synergistic hybrid celebration, the sacred nurturing the mundane.
MEN: Then this morning, at church, Dave Teeples spoke about the way our passion often translates into our work, and then how we can use that same passion to serve God and one-another in the context of church.
Much of our conversation around the tables focused on what we love to do, and how what floats our boat gets fine-tuned and re-packaged through the course of our lives. In other words, we simply talked with one-another about everyday life.
We weren’t “spiritualizing” the conversation, and we weren’t trying to make every sentence involve the words “God” or “Jesus.” Rather, everything we were talking about was framed by faith in the same way that – in the photograph above – the beautiful sky framed the Tampa crosstown and the Ikea parking lot.
SANCTIFY: But, and also in the same way, our context, the scripture, and then our eventual sharing of prayer-requests around the table, not only framed but interpreted the conversation. In fact, what the context of faith achieved was to sanctify our conversations as men sharing our lives.
The cross and the conversation
In a sense, the beauty of the western sky sanctified the concrete jungle the afternoon I took that photograph at Ikea. In the same way, the simple discipline of inviting God to be both present and participant in the manner that we live our lives as Christian men, sanctifies every moment of what we experience.
This is the beauty of being a Follower of the Way of Jesus – DEREK