the tentmaker

daily thoughts on the common lectionary

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Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia, United States

"...because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3. Tentmaker is a title taken by bi-vocational pastors. As such, I am both a pastor and a project manager. I am a pastor of a local congregation of moderate, accepting and affirming people who worship in the Baptist tradition. We call our church "Hope Memorial Baptist" and we are about 40 in number. I am also a project manager of major construction projects for the State of Georgia. My home and church is in rural Coweta County, between Peachtree City and Newnan, with a mailing address of Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Year C - Passion

Liturgy of the Word:
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11
Luke 23:1-49

Saturday, March 20, 2010

11 Thy Loving Care

Father in Heaven! In the evening, when we prepare to go to sleep, we are consoled by the thought that Thou art the one who watches over us--and yet, when we awaken in the morning and when we remain awake during the day, what a desolation if Thou wert not the one watching over us! The difference that we establish between sleep and waking is then only a pleasantry--as if we needed Thy wakefulness only as long as we are asleep, but not when we ourselves are awake.
Soren Kierkegaard

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

8 Thou Hast Loved Us First

Father in Heaven! Thou has loved us first, help us never to forget that Thou art love so that this sure conviction might triumph in our hearts over the seduction of the world, over the inquietude of the soul, over the anxiety for the future, over the fright of the past, over the distress of the moment. But grant also that this conviction might discipline our soul so that our heart might remain faithful and sincere in the love which we bear to all those whom Thou hast commanded us to love as we love ourselves.
Soren Kierkegaard

Monday, March 15, 2010

6 Thou God of Love

How could anything rightly be said about love if Thou wert forgotten, Thou God of Love, from whom all love comes in heaven and on earth; Thou who didst hold nothing back but didst give everything in love; Thou who art love, so the lover is only what he is through being in Thee! How could anything rightly be said about love if Thou wert forgotten, Thou who didst make manifest what love is, Thou, our Savior and Redeemer, who gave Himself to save us all! How could anything rightly be said about love if Thou wert forgotten, Thou spirit of love, Thou who dost abate nothing of Thine own, but dost call to mind that sacrifice of love, dost remind the believer to love as he is loved, and his neighbor as himself! O eternal love! Thou who art everywhere present, and never without testimony in what may here be said about love, or about works of love. For it is certainly true that there are some acts which the human language particularly and narrow-mindedly calls acts of charity; but in heaven it is certainly true that in its self-abnegation, a necessity for love, and just because of this, without claiim or merit.
Soren Kierkegaard

Year C - Lent 5

Liturgy of the Word:
Isaiah 43:16-21
Psalm 126
Philippians 3:4b-14
John 12:1-8

Sunday, March 14, 2010

5 Thy Word

Father in Heaven, what is man that Thou visitest him, and the son of man that Thou are mindfull of him?--and in every way, in every respect! Verily, Thou didst never leave Thyself without a witness; and at last Thou didst give to man Thy Word. More Thou couldst not do; to compel him to make use of it, to hear it or read it, to compel him to act according to it, Thou couldst not wish. Ah, and yet Thou didst do more. For Thou are not like a man--rarely does he do anything for nothing, and if he does, he at least would not be put to inconvenience by it. Thou, on the contrary, O God, bestowest Thy Word as a gift--and we men have nothing to give in return. And if only Thou dost find some willingness on the part of the single individual, Thou art prompt to help, and first of all Thou art the one who with more than human, yea, with divine patience, dost sit and spell it out with the individual, that he may be able rightly to understand the Word; and next Thou art the one who, again with more than human, yea, with divine patience, dost take him as it were by the hand and help him when he strives to do accordingly--Thou our Father in Heaven.
Soren Kierkegaard

Saturday, March 13, 2010

4 Thou Art Unchangeable

O Thou who are unchangeable, whom nothing changes! Thou who art unchangeable in love, precisely for our welfare, submitting ourselves to any change: may we too will our welfare, submitting ourselves to the discipline of Thy unchangeableness, so that we may in unconditional obedience find our rest and remain at rest in Thy unchangeableness. Thou art not like a man; if he is to preserve only some degree of constancy he must not permit himself too much to be moved, nor by too many things. Thou on the contrary art moved, and moved in infinite love, by all things. Even that which we human beings call an insignificant trifle, and pass by unmoved, the need of a sparrow, even this moves Thee; and what we so often scarcely notice, a human sigh, this moves Thee, O Thou who art unchangeable! O Thou who in infinite love dost submit to be moved, may this our prayer also move Thee to add Thy blessing, in order that there may be wrought such a change in him who prays as to bring him into conformity with Thy unchangeable will, Thou who are unchangeable!
Soren Kierkegaard

Friday, March 12, 2010

2 Thine is the power

Father in Heaven! In the external world one is stronger, another is weaker; the first is perhaps proud of his strength and the second perhaps sighs and feels jealous; but in our own inner world we are all weak in the light of Thy countenance, Thou the powerful one, Thou, the only strong one.
Soren Kierkegaard

Thursday, March 11, 2010

3 Thou Art Incomprehensible

Father in Heaven! Thou are incomprehensible in Thy creation; Thou livest afar off in a light which no one can penetrate and if we recognize Thee in Thy providence, our knowledge is feeble and veils Thy splendor, Thou who art incomprehensible in Thy splendor. But Thou art still more incomprehensible in Thy grace and in Thy mercy. What is man that Thou art mindful of him, Thou Infinite One--but even more, what is the son of a fallen race, that yea Thou wouldst visit him, Thou Holy One; yea what is the sinner that Thy Son wouldst come into the world because of him, not to judge but to save, not to make known His own dwelling place so that the lost might seek Him, but in order to seek out that which is lost, having no den such as wild beasts have, having no place on which to lay his head, knowing hunger in the desert, thirst on the Cross. Lord, Father of compassion! What is man able to do for such great benefits; he is not even able to give Thee thanks without Thee. Teach us then the humble discernment of true intellegence that, as a broken heart sighs under the weight of its guilt, saying in its sorrow: "It is impossible! it is impossible that God is able to show such compassion," so that the one who appropriates this assurance in faith must also say in his joy, "it is impossible." If death too seemed to separate those who love one another and again they were given to each other, their first cry at the moment of their reunion would be, "it is impossible." And this joyous message of Thy compassion, Father in Heaven, even if man has heard it since his tender infancy, is not for that the less incomprehensible! And even if man meditates on it day by day, it does not become for that less incomprehensible! Was then Thy incomprehensible mercy like that of a man, which disappeared on closer aquaintance, like the happiness of those who loved each other in days of old incomprehensible (then) but not any more. O torpid human reason! O guileful earthly wisdom! O cold thought of slumbering faith! O miserable forgetfulness of the cold heart! No, Lord, keep Thou everyone who believes in Thee in the proper humble understanding and deliver him from evil.
Soren Kierkegaard
Lord, I cannot do it without you. I even need you to have faith in you.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

1 Thy Greatness, My Nothingness

God in Heaven, let me really feel my nothingness, not in order to despair over it, but in order to feel the more powerfully the greatness of Thy goodness.
Soren Kierkegaard

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

7 O Infinite Love

Thou loving Father, everything goes wrong for me and yet Thou art love. I have even failed in holding fast to this--that Thou art love, and yet Thou art love. Wherever I turn, the only thing that I cannot do without is that Thou art love, and that is why, even when I have not held fast to the faith that Thou art love, I believe that Thou dost permit through love that it should be so, O Infinite Love.
Soren Kierkegaard
For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do... Oh, wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul, the apostle

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Year C - Lent 4

Liturgy of the Word:
Joshua 5:9-12
Psalm 32
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32