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September 23, 2020 at 8:32 am #4725officeKeymaster
Noticings…September 23, 2020
We had a typo in the Sunday morning bulletin a few weeks ago. It happens. Up until then we were perfect! The typo was a simple missing apostrophe. Interestingly, that little apostrophe completely changed the meaning of the sentence. In fact, it made it the opposite meaning. Who knew there was so much power in one little punctuation mark!
The typo came at the end of our Prayer of Invocation and Transformation. Every week we pray together, and then I invite us into a time of silent reflection. After that I conclude the prayer with the same words every week. I’ve been saying them for years now. “God hears, forgives, makes whole, renews, and loves. Breathe deeply of God’s shalom, and be God’s.”
It was those last two words. If the apostrophe is missing it says that we should “act like gods”. Put the apostrophe back in and it calls us to “belong to God”. That is all the difference in the world. One is an expression of hubris and power; the other is an expression of humility and reverence. Obviously, we want to go with the reverence part!
I borrowed that phrase – Be God’s – from one of my favourite Christian singer/songwriters of all time. His name is Rich Mullins. Tragically, he died in a car accident back in 2007. The anniversary of his death was a few days ago. I mark it every year. Rich was renowned for the depth of his faith and his conviction to being like Jesus. (That’s the theme of this Sunday’s sermon too!) He was in the music business, but he didn’t like the stardom part of it. In fact, he set up a charitable foundation and put all his earnings into it and only drew what was the average worker’s salary for himself. All the other money – and it was significant – went to support his favourite cause, which was Indigenous justice. In fact, he eventually withdrew from the music business and lived on a reserve in America and taught the Indigenous kids music.
When Rich did concerts he would always be asked for autographs. He hated that part, but had to do it. Guess what he wrote on every autograph? Just two words, and his name. The two words were: Be God’s! It reminds me of something else you hear every Sunday. At the very end of worship I always close with the words: “Go forth, knowing who you are and whose you are.”
Well, whose are you? And what does it mean to you to make that claim? And what shape do your life, and your actions, and behaviours take because of that claim? And what responsibilities does that bring? And whose aren’t you? That’s a lot of discipleship and theology wrapped up in two little words: Be God’s! (And don’t forget the apostrophe!)
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