Sad Songs

Sad Songs

Why is it that the music that grips our souls is filled with sorrow and brokenness?   Think about it.  Without these themes country and western music would disappear and Delilah’s overnight radio program would be reduced to a three-song playlist.   A happy song can lift our spirits for a moment, but a sad song resonates our whole being.   It’s images, its expressions, its vocalization of our own grief is powerful.  Happiness can be superficial, but sorrow has a rich topography – with dark, foreboding peaks and deep valleys.   Sorrow is a richly woven tapestry more common to our human experience than joy.  We can instinctively feel the truth of the Solomon’s sage observation, even though it seems counterintuitive.

It is better to go to the house of mourning
    than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
    and the living will lay it to heart.  Ecclesiastes 7:2

So, it is no wonder that the Psalms in the Bible contain many more songs of lament than songs of joy.   The Holy Spirit instructs us to lay our sorrows before a God who is not a cold, indifferent higher power, but a Heavenly Father who delights to hear cry of his children and wipe away their tears, who loves us with a depth and intensity that we can scarcely grasp.  As Calvin aptly noted, the Psalms reflect the anatomy of the soul and teach us how to exercise faith even in the midst of fear, pain and sorrow.

And Jesus, our Savior, made like us – truly human though also fully God — was a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” who bears our sorrows and carries our griefs.   The depth of our character and our being is revealed more clearly in our sorrow than in our joy.   As Jesus’ sorrow is highlighted in the gospels we perceive the depth of his love for broken sinners.   He wept over the unbelief of his people.

Jeremiah demonstrated this same type of grief for the people of his day.   Often called the weeping prophet, Jeremiah’s sharp pronouncement of judgment and urgent calls to repentance are interleaved with songs of sorrow over the unbelief of his people.   Some of these are interspersed throughout his sermons while others are collected in Lamentations.

But in Jeremiah 12 we encounter another lamentation – not from the lips of Jeremiah, but from God himself.  Here we see God singing a lament over his people because of their unbelief.   It is a song that gives us a picture of the depth of God’s love – love that weathers unfaithfulness, love that holds out mercy, love that longs to restore.   To despise God’s love, grace, and salvation, to trample underfoot the blood of the covenant is to be worthy of all His wrath – yet in wrath, He remembers mercy.

From Jeremiah, we have heard of our sin and of the certainty of God’s justice.  We have heard time and time again God’s willingness to have us back, calling us to turn back from having turned backs.   But here we see His grief over our lostness and over every sin that clings so closely.  We see how he feels about us.   There is no harsh, cold, indifference.  There is no eagerness to judge and destroy.   In his love and compassion for us, he has gone to the extremity of entering into our condition in the person of Jesus, to satisfy justice and show mercy.   Our impassible God is no dispassionate God.  His love and concern for us is beyond what we can grasp.  In this passage we are called the “beloved of [His] soul.”

Not sure how God feels about you?   Join us this Sunday, October 20 to find out.  We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for directions. Come with a friend and join us for fellowship and worship. We look forward to seeing you there.

Tagging Along

Tagging Along

As a boy, I liked nothing better than tagging along with my dad.   Sometimes he would take me with him to work, where I would unbox and prepare typewriters for delivery, investigate the trinkets littering his desk, and eagerly anticipate lunch at Mary Mac’s Tea Room or chocolate pie on the swiveling stools at Krystal’s.  Other times we would run errands.  My father loved to run errands.  He would spend $0.50 extra in gas to save $0.22 on some small necessity.  And his car was always filled with the smell of pipe tobacco.  Borkum Riff was the smell of my childhood.  As enthusiasm for the quest waned, the last stop would reveal some small surprise just for me – never demanded, but always produced.  My joy in being with my father was never defined by our activity but our proximity.

My Saturdays were completely defined by my father’s agenda.   My absolute favorite Saturday activity was to help mow the church yard.   Mowing with the riding mower was both terrifying and exhilarating.  Navigating the board ramps into the storage room and mowing the steep bank behind the church always produced a surge of adrenaline.  My dad’s anxious expressions and “earnest” admonitions, no doubt, increased to the adrenal flow rate.   My driving produced tense moments for my father – especially when I ruptured the freon line on the church AC unit.  Yet he continued to entrust the job to me.  Being with my dad gave me a sense of my place in the world.

As I got older, however, my diverging interests and preferences made my father’s agenda less pleasurable and more drudgerous.  Nothing had changed for his part.  Yet, now his plans always seemed at variance from my own.   Activity trumped proximity.  What we did was more important to me than that fact that we were together.  My friends got to sleep in and wile away their Saturdays in sports and leisure, while my father’s plans never included those categories.   Being with my dad was no longer more important than doing what I liked.   Now he is gone and I would love to have a few more days weeding the garden, raking leaves, and running errands.  But in the foolishness of youth, following him became more of a chore than a joy.

This danger also awaits us in the Christian life.  We are called to follow Christ.  Our chief calling as Christians is defined by proximity not activity.  Wherever Christ goes and whatever He is doing, we are called to follow him in the going and the doing.  Often as young Christians our enthusiasm to be with Him overcomes the calculus of the where and the what.   Then, like Peter walking on the water, we take our eyes of Him and begin to look at the wind and the waves.  Suddenly following Him does not seem like such a good idea.

How far are you willing to follow?  What inconvenience, crisis, relationship, or circumstance will be the place where you say, “this far and no further.”  Hebrews reminds us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.” And Jesus has a challenging word for the casual, conditional follower.

Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

How far will you follow?  The prophet, Jeremiah, had taken great risks to follow God’s call.  His preaching offended everyone, alienated him from family, and made him the mortal enemy of powerful people.   His words were powerful but seemed ineffective.  The people did not turn back to God.  And God’s judgment was not turned back from the people.   He gave up the hope of wife and family and a peaceful life as a priest to be an outlaw, hated and spurned by the very people he suffered to serve.

The Bible preserves for us Jeremiah’s teaching as well as his personal struggles.   Like Jeremiah, sorrow, opposition, broken relationships and ineffective ministry can deter us from following Christ.   It is easy to quit following, if we are following an idea or activity.  But we are called to follow a person.  Jeremiah’s struggles resonate with us and challenge us to consider, “how far will we follow?”

Join us this Sunday, October 13, as we consider the challenges we face as we follow Christ.  We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for directions. Come with a friend and join us for fellowship and worship. We look forward to seeing you there.

Sarcasm

Sarcasm

A software engineer is a living contradiction – vacillating between optimism toward what might be and pessimism about what is.   Software development is the nearest thing to creation ex nihlo man can achieve.  Created in the realm of abstract ideas and breathed into life on digital devices, an app reflects unlimited possibilities, limited by only one thing — users.  Software is designed for totally depraved users.  Optimism regarding what an app can do is counterbalanced by pessimism of what users will do.   Though over 90% of any given app’s code is error checking, it is never enough.

This paradigm makes software engineers some of the most pessimistic people you will ever meet.  They are definitely in the category of “glass nearly empty” people.   They effortlessly convert every management attempt at team-building and motivation into sarcasm and non-compliance.  This is what makes them frustratingly anti-social, but this also good at their craft.   Being connoisseurs of human folly and masters of sarcasm enables them to drill down to what is actually deliverable in a world in which anything is theoretically possible.

The dictionary defines sarcasm as “the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.”  By its very nature sarcasm uses absurdity disguised as seriousness to bring clarity to what is true and contempt to what is false.   A colleague of mine once remarked that sarcasm had no place in preaching, that it was a form of speech beneath the dignity of a sermon.   Yet as a form of distilling truth, sarcasm is employed often in the Bible.  Sarcasm in scripture and in preaching often functions as the perfect colander to strain out the pulp of superficiality from the nectar of clarity.

Jesus used many figures of speech.   Surely Jesus instructions in Matthew 5:29-30 to pluck out the sinful eye or to amputate a sin-stained right hand are hyperbole and not surgical asceticism.  But it is in the prophets where we routinely encounter the literary device of sarcasm.  A short survey of the prophets all the way back to Elijah, shows that whenever they addressed the issue of idolatry, sarcasm was used to mock the impotence of false gods.   Elijah’s comments on Mt. Carmel are the gold standard.

And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 1 Kings 18:27

And Isaiah’s scathing rebuke of the folly of idolatry drips with sarcasm when he observes that idols are usually fashioned from scrap wood.

Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” Isaiah 44:16-17

The prophet Jeremiah continues this tradition as he confronts the people of Judah with the folly of their idolatry.  Comparing and contrasting their false gods with the true God he calls his people to see the error of their ways, to help them understand how to recognize their own idolatry, and to use the gifts God has given to keep them sliding down that slippery slope.   The sarcasm of the prophet makes it ridiculously clear how foolish their idolatry is, but how clearly do we see our own idols?

Can we recognize the things in our lives which take but never deliver, make fools of us, and keep us in fear of losing them?   It’s so easy to see the speck in the eyes of others, but planks are hard to detect.  What idol has your heart?  What is it, that if you lost it would make life not worth living?  That is your idol.

Join us this Sunday, September 15, as we learn from the warning of the prophet Jeremiah how to recognize the idols in our lives.  We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for directions. Come with a friend and join us for fellowship and worship. We look forward to seeing you there.

A Time to Mourn

A Time to Mourn

The older I get, the more emotional I have become.  I have always been a bit of a stoic but, now children’s stories and sermon illustrations easily choke me up.  I try to pass these episodes off as dramatic pauses, but in reality I can’t read The Three Trees or Papa Panov’s Special Day or recount poignant sermon illustrations without turning into an emotional mess.   As I reflect on why this is, I have come to believe that with more of life’s water under the bridge, those stories and illustrations bear a strong resemblance to my own stories and my own grief – grief over opportunities and people lost and grief over my callousness to God’s grace and insensitivity to His presence.

But I have also come to understand that grief is a normal part of life.   Though it often takes us by surprise, it is not unexpected.  The longer we live, the more grief we live with.  Grief is not contrary to faith, nor a lack of faith.   Indeed, Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  At the tomb of Lazarus and in the midst of the Triumphal Entry, “Jesus wept.”   In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said that His soul was “sorrowful unto death.”  And Jesus’ faith and knowledge were complete and He was in perfect communion with the Heavenly Father.   Yet He was “acquainted with grief.”  Grief is a part of life in this fallen world.  Being a Christian does not change this, it only changes how we respond to it.

I appreciate the wisdom of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3.  He notes that life “under the sun” is a life with seasons.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; …
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; …. 

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart. —  Ecclesiastes 3:1-10

There is a time to mourn, a time to grieve.  But grief can be complicated.  Each person’s “Tear Soup” requires different ingredients, different cooking times, and has unique complex flavors.   Grief brings complexity to our feelings and to our faith.  Grief challenges the clichés by which we live and confronts us with the God who IS, and not the God we imagined.    But God has not left us without guidance for our grief.  His Holy Spirit is often called, in Scripture, the “Comforter.”  This Comforter inspired chosen men of old to give us words to speak, pray, and sing in the Psalms to teach us how to grieve.   John Calvin famously noted, regarding the Psalms,

I have been accustomed to call this book, I think not inappropriately, “An Anatomy of all the Parts of the Soul;” for there is not an emotion of which any one can be conscious that is not here represented as in a mirror. Or rather, the Holy Spirit has here drawn to the life all the griefs, sorrows, fears, doubts, hopes, cares, perplexities, in short, all the distracting emotions with which the minds of men are wont to be agitated.  

John Calvin, Preface to Commentary on the Psalms.

And we have many examples in Scripture of grief observed.   Jeremiah’s emotional confessions and lamentations are potent examples.   Jeremiah is known as the “weeping prophet.”   As one commenter noted, he was “never a dispassionate observer of his nation’s sufferings, but entered into the anguish of the people and suffered with them….  [He bore] a message of divine judgement while at the same time sharing the sufferings of the people…. [He was a man] torn asunder between God and the people, to both of whom [he] was bound with deep ties.”  (The Book of Jeremiah, J. A. Thompson)

In Jeremiah 8 and 9 we encounter the prophet in the depths of complex and conflicting grief over the sin and judgment of Judah.  God has called us to draw near to observe his grief to instruct us how to grieve over the sin and judgment of our own time.   In Jeremiah’s grief we see the necessities, complexities, expansiveness and available comfort for our grief – grief over our own sin and loss, and over that of our people.

Join us this Sunday, September 8, as we consider how the example of Jeremiah instructs us to grieve when it is a “time to mourn.”  We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for directions. Come with a friend and join us for fellowship and worship. We look forward to seeing you there.

Palliative Christianity

Palliative Christianity

English is a rich and nuanced language.  It has an uncanny ability to describe things with surgical precision.  Yet like many powerful tools, we rarely use it to its fullest.   For example, while the thesaurus — a Greek word for treasure box, not a prehistoric reptile — has a vast array of words to describe every conceivable affection we might have, we use the word “love” for them all.  We love our wife and children and we love our fried chicken, yet those “loves” are quite different.  Many powerfully precise words are used copiously and carelessly.  In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word.  I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”

As the debate over end of life issues spills over from the ivory tower of medical ethicists to culture at large, the word “palliative” has become part of our everyday vocabulary.   “Palliative care” is one of those highly charged phrases used by a wide range of people to mean a wide range of things.   According to the dictionary, to palliate means to “make (a disease or its symptoms) less severe or unpleasant without removing the cause.”   In layman’s terms this means “comfort care.”

I am a strong supporter of hospice care.  When no curative option remains for a terminal diagnosis, “comfort care” is life-extending care.  Palliative care harmonizes perfectly with the answer to the Shorter Catechism’s question, “What is required in the Sixth Commandment? The Sixth Commandment requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life, and the life of others.”  For a great discussion of this issue from a Reformed perspective let me recommend Christopher Bogosh’s Compassionate Jesus.

As a hospice chaplain, I have encountered many who view palliative care as tantamount to either medical neglect or euthanasia.  But the hard truth is that medical science cannot stop death.  The Scripture reminds us that everyone will face death. “It is appointed unto man once to die and then to face the judgement.”  Medical technology has allowed us to extend life, but not indefinitely.  There are times when palliative care is the most life-extending and life-choosing thing we can do.  And it is not predicated on the false, unbiblical dichotomy that pits “quality of life” against “quantity of life.”  Palliative care is based God’s command for Christians to exercise compassion and care to the sick and the dying.

But with that said, there is an area where palliative care is never appropriate.  And that is in regard to a diagnosis of eternal death because of sin.  God is indeed a God of comfort, but his greatest comfort is the comfort of the gospel, the healing balm of Gilead, which is offered to all as the curative answer to our sin and misery.  When it comes to eternal life and eternal death, palliative spiritual care — an attempt to “make our sin-sickness less severe or unpleasant without removing the cause” — is the most uncompassionate, hateful, and uncaring care we can offer.   God’s comfort in the gospel comes by way of the means of our discomfort with our sin.  The prophet Hosea calls us.

Come, let us return to the Lord;
    for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
    he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.  Hosea 6:1

To offer palliative care for the sin sick soul is indeed spiritual neglect and “mal-thanasia.”   Yet this is exactly what the prophets and priests, the pastors and elders, of Jeremiah’s day were doing – offering palliative care, saying “Peace, peace” when there was no peace, with men or with God.  Twice, Jeremiah points the prophetic finger at these hireling shepherds.

They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
    saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
    when there is no peace.  Jeremiah 8:12

The shepherds were offering comfort care — palliative Christianity — when curative care was at hand.  And the people had become comfortably numb.  The prophet is astonished that while even the animals are responsive to God’s sovereign design, His people persistently resist His grace and have become “numb and number.”   What type of care are you seeking for the terminal diagnosis of sin?  Have you sought to the certain cure of God’s grace and mercy through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ?  Or have you enrolled in palliative Christianity that affirms and confirms that your sin is not really a problem and that everything we be just fine?  Are you becoming numb and number?

Join us this Sunday, September 1 as we consider from Jeremiah 8:4-22 the terminal dangers of becoming numb to our spiritual condition.  We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for directions. Come with a friend and join us for fellowship and worship. We look forward to seeing you there

Spin

Spin

Long before my lofty aspirations to software design and pastoral ministry, I harbored thoughts of another noble, yet more humble vocation – that of the garbage man.  Every Tuesday was trash day on Inca Court.   I would help my dad carry the cans to the curb before he left for work and then I would eagerly await the arrival of the trash truck, sitting by the curb to get a front row seat for the action.  I dreamed of donning an orange jump-suit and swinging from the back of the truck as it moved from house to house.  I was not discouraged by the distinctive aroma.  Nothing seemed more sensible and adventurous than being a garbage-man.   Though we cannot call them that now.  The simplicity of their craft is now obscured by titles such as “sanitation engineer.”  Ironically, by elevating the language of their craft we show contempt for their vocation.

A “euphemism” is the use of language to make the unpalatable, palatable.  But we call it “spin” or “political correctness.”  It is the art of using pleasant speech to transform what is morally repugnant to something we can more conscientiously ignore.  For example, the rhetoric of abortion-rights advocates is rife with euphemism – and indeed depends upon it.   Labels such as “pro-choice,” “Planned Parenthood,” “women’s rights,” and “reproductive health” are utterly disingenuous.   Nothing is further from the minds of abortion providers than parenthood.  And in what way can killing your offspring be considered “reproductive health?” And what about the choice and rights of unborn women?

Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias, commenting on the Tower of Babel, conjectured that God confused the languages of the people because they used their words to create a rival reality to the one He revealed through His Word.   Spin, political correctness, and euphemism are sedatives we take from the hard realities of sin and responsibility.   No one expresses euphemism’s deceitfulness, quite like G. K. Chesterton.   The quote is long, but worth the read.

Most Eugenists are Euphemists. I mean merely that short words startle them, while long words soothe them. And they are utterly incapable of translating the one into the other, however obviously they mean the same thing. Say to them “The persuasive and even coercive powers of the citizen should enable him to make sure that the burden of longevity in the previous generation does not become disproportionate and intolerable, especially to the females”; say this to them and they will sway slightly to and fro like babies sent to sleep in cradles. Say to them “Murder your mother,” and they sit up quite suddenly. Yet the two sentences, in cold logic, are exactly the same. Say to them “It is not improbable that a period may arrive when the narrow if once useful distinction between the anthropoid homo and the other animals, which has been modified on so many moral points, may be modified also even in regard to the important question of the extension of human diet”; say this to them, and beauty born of murmuring sound will pass into their face. But say to them, in a simple, manly, hearty way “Let’s eat a man!” and their surprise is quite surprising. Yet the sentences say just the same thing.  — G. K. Chesterton, Eugenics and Other Evils

But spin and euphemism thrive in the church as much as in culture.   Phrases such as “open minds” and “affirming” and “ecumenical” are code-words for elevating the opinions of man and the norms of culture over the authority of God’s Word.   Like the men of Jeremiah’s day we love our idols. We don’t call them idols, of course, but we install them in our churches and use double-speak to legitimize them.  What we fail to grasp is that our idols – traditionalism, works-righteousness, money, entertainment, affirmation, felt-needs, cultural relevance, church growth, etc. – will consume us.   Like invasive weeds, they crowd out vibrant, gracious Christian living and drain us dry.

There is no spin in Jeremiah’s words.  He speaks plainly and directly without any attempt to sugar-coat his message.  God’s people had abandoned the Lord for every conceivable idol.   Now God will abandon them to judgment.  They are beyond repentance.  In one of the Bible’s most terrifying passages — Jeremiah 7-8 — the prophet pulls back the curtain and shows the deadly effect of turning your back on God.  For the men of Judah, it is too late to turn back.  They have gone too far.  Even the prophet is forbidden to pray for them.   But it is not too late for you.  God gives this warning so you will turn back to Him.  Time and time again, the Scripture declares, “Today is the day of salvation.”

Join us this Sunday, August 25 as we consider from Jeremiah 7:16-8:3 what is ahead for those who are walking away from God and will not turn back.  We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for directions. Come with a friend and join us for fellowship and worship. We look forward to seeing you there.

Tin Men

Tin Men

Twice each year I undertake the Herculean task of cleaning the storage shed.  It takes an entire Saturday and involves nostalgic, logistical and utilitarian precision.  I have eight hours to unpack the geological column of our family history, triage the flotsam and jetsam to see what stays and what goes, clean out the remote corners of the shed, then pack it back with tetris-like precision.   Some things are easy.  High-school yearbooks and “special-things” stay.  Broken gardening vessels and punctured swimming floaties go.  But the perpetual members of the “on-the-fence” club are the old VBS craft projects.  They will not be used as décor, nor do they have any functional use.  Yet their value in nostalgia is worth its weight in gold.  Most prized among these are the family of “tin men.”

Like those pictured above, these creations were forged through the ambition of old-school VBS craft leaders and the patient endurance of the saints and children who assembled them.   They were meant to illustrate a very important truth, that the only hope for tin men is to receive a new heart.  Just as our only hope is to receive a new heart through faith in Jesus.  But they inadvertently stand witness to something else – to Christians whose outward profession declares orthodoxy, while their outward life-style professes heterodoxy.  Like tin men, many pious churchgoers have no new heart.  They know the songs, they recite the creeds, they pray the prayers, they fill the positions and the pews, but the testimony of their lives is at odds with the testimony of their lips.  Their confidence is not in the object of their faith, but the operation of their faith.  C. S. Lewis, described such men as “men without chests.”  He writes.

We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise…. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.

When God gives us a new heart, He gives also gives us new desires — desires to delight in His Law and to imitate His holiness.  Law and holiness are not the root of God’s grace in our lives, but they are always the fruit of it.  If we have no concern for God’s law or holiness, this is a warning sign that we are Christians without chests, spiritual tin men.  And tin men are in grave danger for a man without a heart is dead.

Spiritual tin men have great confidence, but their confidence is always a false confidence.  Jeremiah speaks to the spiritual tin men of his day calling them to “amend their ways.”  The were quite religious and loved all the ritual and activity, confident that their hope was in “the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.”  But  their lives showed that they had no concern for the Lord of the Temple, or his Law or His Holiness – sure evidence that they were men without chests.

Is your religion a grateful response to a gracious God?  Is your life animated by a new heart whose rhythm is in sync with God’s pace-making heart?   Does your life on Wednesday line up with your profession on Sunday? Or is your ritual, profession, and religious activity a cover-up for what is really under the hood – or rather what is not under the hood?   The Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz rightly understood his condition.

When a man’s an empty kettle
He should be on his mettle
And yet I’m torn apart
Just because I’m presumin’
That I could be kind of human
If I only had a heart. – The Tin Man

Are you a spiritual tin man?  Are you trusting in externals, in ritual, in your works, but lacking a new heart?  The beautiful truth of Jeremiah 7 is that amidst the prophet’s razor-sharp diagnosis, he offers the only sure remedy.

Join us this Sunday, August 18 as we consider the dangers of heartless Christianity and the only remedy for its terminal condition.  We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for directions. Come with a friend and join us for fellowship and worship. We look forward to seeing you there.