Saturday, December 17, 2005

Life In A Postcard

Southern Alberta was beautiful Friday. As we were driving to swimming lessons and enjoying the outdoors, I said, "It's like we're living in a postcard." It was -20c outside, which helped to make the air crisp and clean. The ground was covered in fresh snow, sparkling in the sunlight. There was a thin frosty fog hovering in the air, which created hoarfrost all day long. The moon was still visible (at 9 o'clock in the morning - which I would love a scientific explanation for), shining like a silver dollar in the pink morning sky. In the distance the Rocky Mountains were periwinkle boulders, looking as though they were draped in a sheet of vellum. It was a spectacular view of God's amazing artistic abilities.
That thought of "living in a postcard" causes me to consider what others look and see of me. As a pastor's wife, many people ask me about "life in the fishbowl". I am grateful that I have never had a problem in the "fishbowl". Our congregation has been very gracious over the years to allow me to be me, patiently encouraging me while I'm growing. I realize that some churches are less than reasonable in what they expect of their clergy and families. We are not perfect, and are still in the process of sanctification. Having said that, all believers need to realize that we are being watched. If we are parents, our children are watching us. If we are part of a church, there are people younger than ourselves that are observing our behavior and following our example (both positive and negative). Our neighbours watch us. Our co-workers watch us. Even strangers watch us and can learn from us.
With this in mind, our call is to holy living. Consider Ephesians 4 :17ff, "This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the (Canadians) walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened... but be renewed in the spirit of your mind... that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." Then Paul goes on to discuss some of the unholy patterns of life - anger, lying, stealing, slander, bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, malice, etc. He exhorts the Ephesians to walk in love, like Christ did, "a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma". He continues that fornication, immorality, covetousness and such behavior should not even be mentioned among us: "neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting". Paul reminds us that these are "not fitting".
This makes me return to my "postcard" and consider, "what's in the picture that is not fitting"? Let us live the holy lives that God deserves of us. We now bear His name. We are in His family, and as such, our behavior ought to reflect our Abba, rather than the one that has been overcome. Let the unholy and dark thinking of our world not be found among us, nor the behaviors that result from such "lostness". We are the bride in the advent of our groom. Let us pursue purity every day until He returns.

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