Christian

Christian: (n) a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.

Montanian.

Please describe. Yes, take a moment and grant me your visual interpretation of a typical person who lives in Montana. Here come the
stereotypes:

  • Cowboy hats.
  • Rodeos
  • A slight drawl in speech
  • Independent thinking
  • Might even carry a gun or two

That is what we think about Montana. If we encountered someone who lived in Montana who did NOT fit any of those stereotypes, we might feel a little irritable, wondering why they insisted on living in our Montana.

Christian.

As long as we cling to the typical stereotypical definition of what this creature seems to be, we quickly will find out that Jesus, himself, would not make a very
good Christian.

  • He did not favor ceremony.
  • He didn’t like being called “good.”
  • He didn’t seek the praise of people, but rather, encouraged them to prosper in their own faith.
  • He certainly wanted to be known for his teachings instead of the time he spent on a cross.
  • And it was his habit to rebel against any tradition and formality which took away the intimacy of personal belief.

So the truth is, when Jesus is presented the way he really was, we get irritable.

How dare he be a Jewish Messiah, fulfilling Old Testament prophesy as the “Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world,” and instead, present himself as the Good Shepherd, who welcomes everybody and does not think that judging others is a legitimate practice.

 

 

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Ceremony

Ceremony: (n) a formal religious or public occasion

We catered the food so it must be good.

We rented expensive tuxedos, so we’re certainly on our way to a major event.

We brought out the cloth napkins. Must be important guests.

We’re also using the best china. It’s been a while.

We got a haircut. Time to look better.

We trimmed our beard or fussed with our eyebrows. Must be on the way to see the President.

We lit a candle. It’s got to be more spiritual.

Ceremony is when we believe that certain rituals or articles have more significance–therefore they announce greater value. Because of that, certain aspects of life have become ceremonial.

We can’t worship God without dressing up, getting in a car, going to church, sitting on our perch and being led through a series of pre-fabricated and pre-tested ceremonies.

We cannot get married without spending tens of thousands of dollars, confirming to everybody that we’re worth it and “this thing is really on the level.”

Ceremony robs us of the joy of simply enjoying good things for no damn good reason whatsoever.

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Anoint

dictionary with letter A

Anoint: (v) 1. to smear or rub with oil, typically as part of a religious ceremony 2. to confer divine or holy office.

I’m not much for ceremony.

The rituals that normally happen in politics, religion or even in academia often leave me a bit befuddled and bemused.

Yet I think sometimes the absence of a sense of greater purpose being conveyed to our leaders and trend-setters leaves us with a mediocre cast of characters for the play on the stage of life.

So in that sense, I think anyone who courageously takes on the task of caring for other human beings needs to be imbued with some divine power or at least a sense that they are being energized by another source.

I know there are those who would disagree, and I appreciate their points, and understand they think humans are capable of self-motivation, without any kind of supernal intervention.

But as I view the stations of my life–that being a man, a husband, a father, a writer, a composer, a leader from time to time, and just someone who occasionally presents a new idea or two–I allow myself to become reflective about the urgency of taking what I do seriously and making sure that I pursue excellence instead of cutting myself too much slack.

For instance, our President takes an oath of office, but I don’t know how many of the men who have held that office–and hopefully the women in the future who will occupy it–actually have or will understand the gift they’ve been given, to lead this nation.

And maybe if they felt just a bit more of an anointing, they might escape the bonds of their political persuasions and take care of the people of America.

I don’t know.

There is something beautiful about laying hands on somebody’s head and believing that a gift is being imparted, one that has eternal consequences.

Of course, there is a danger of becoming over-wrought and self-involved mingled in there, too.

But as I want the President of the United States to be anointed for the job, and the ministers who preach the gospel to be touched by its message, and the fathers and mothers to feel a halo of joy over the great mission of parenting, I will set an example myself by remaining humbled, faithful and responsible … for my own calling.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix