Midweek Message: Hoping They Get Dripped On

Midweek Message: Hoping They Get Dripped On

Dear Hyde Park Family,

 

One of my favorite comedians growing up was Paul Reiser, star of several 80s sitcoms and a very funny author. I remember reading his book Couplehood in college, and to this day I remember his reflections on showering:

 

I’ve discovered that while showering, the areas of our body that we spend the most time scrubbing are not necessarily the areas that need the most scrubbing. There’s a gap between Scrubbing Supply and Scrubbing Demand. For example, the mid-chest gets an awful lot of scrubbing. Right around the chest plate. We love scrubbing that chestal area. Now the fact is, nobody really ever has dirt there. You couldn’t get this part dirty if you wanted to. You’d have to come out of a pool and trip with your arms out. Or eat soup naked and fast. But we scrub there because it’s convenient. It’s nearby, it doesn’t take any effort, you can think about all the Things You Have To Do while you’re scrubbing. So we spend forty minutes scrubbing needlessly.
 
Your feet, however, which really need the attention, get nothing. Admit it. Your feet haven’t been scrubbed since you were in a bassinet. They’re just too far away. No matter how short you are, it’s not worth the effort. So you forget about them. “Well, they’ll get dripped on. They’ll be fine.”
 
I’ll admit it; I’m not the most diligent at scrubbing my feet every day, either.
 
Lately I’ve been thinking about Paul Reiser’s observations in relation to our four private spiritual practices, which are part of our discipleship pathway:
 

            G– Giving in a way that is joyous and generous
            R– Reading the Bible without fear or frustration
            I– Inviting others to Jesus in a way that is natural and not intimidating
            P– Praying with confidence and conviction

 

Developing the daily discipline to practice our “GRIP” requires intentionality and diligence, not unlike scrubbing our feet ever day. Most of the time, our tendency is to focus on the easier-to-reach practices, the ones that are more visible to others, like going to worship, being in a small group, and serving. Yes, those are all important, and we should be more faithful in practicing them.
 

But when we focus solely on those corporate practices, in the hopes that our private practices will somehow just get “dripped on,” we can settle for something less than the full work of God’s cleansing grace in our lives.
 
That’s why, as we live into our church’s vision for the future, we are emphasizing GRIP in each of our worship services moving forward. It is our hope that worship will not simply “give you what you want,” but will give you guidance on how to live “life as God intends it”, which is my favorite definition of the Kingdom of God.
 
Every sermon will be followed by a segment called “Strengthening Your GRIP”, and will give you practical next steps that you can take to grow in your giving, reading, inviting, and praying. Most Sundays in the sanctuary, that time will also include a reformatted, more participatory congregational prayer time, rather than just a preacher doing all the talking. It will model for you ways to pray that are rooted in Christian tradition, which you can practice throughout your week.

 

My conviction is that as we grow in our corporate practices (worship, small groups, service) and our personal practices (giving, reading, inviting, prayer), we will not only be more faithful followers of Jesus, and we will not just be a healthier church. We will be a greater witness to the world of what God’s love can do when it is made real for others.

Grace and Peace,

Magrey

The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist

 

PRACTICING EXTRAVAGANT GENEROSITY

Have you picked up your free daily devotional yet? We have been giving away Practicing Extravagant Generositya monthly devotional that will encourage you in your personal spiritual practices of giving, reading scripture, and prayer. Copies are still available in the church office. I took particular notice of the conclusion to last Monday’s reading:

“Through our generosity, God can do extraordinary things. Through our giving, God changes lives, and in changing them, transforms us.”

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eNewsletter Archive

View past editions of eHyde Park, Magrey’s Midweek Message, Children’s Ministries eNews and MERGE Youth eNews.

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