Allow me to comment on a couple of your comments, attempt to sum up my thoughts at this point, and then get to some Rangers and Cowboys:
I’m sure Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple, not because they were making change, but because they were ripping people off. They were using their position to exploit the position of others and taking advantage of those who had no recourse and no way to defend themselves. However, having said that, Jesus goes on to quote the prophets when he declares that his house should be a house of prayer.
This whole thing with sacred space doesn’t have to be about money. It just has to be about recognizing things that are sacred and working to keep them that way, recognizing what worship space is for and what it’s not for. Of course, Christ’s Lordship claims all of creation. All things are sacred to Christ. God’s work through Jesus is to redeem all things back to him. And so we don’t just need to concentrate on the physical parts of our church buildings. Even more, we must apply those same principles to our daily and hourly lives.
There is a genuine tension here, not unlike the tensions we find throughout our Holy Scriptures. The Kingdom of God has come and the Kingdom of God is coming. We’re adopted as children of God and we’re groaning as we await our adoption as God’s children. We’re in the world and separate from the world. That “right now and not yet” tension is not unlike this question of sacred space.
My great friend Jim Gardner contributes this insightful gem in an email:
“What is undeniable to me is that people, created in God’s image, are the apex of God’s noble purpose and, as such, communities of faith that are serious about their calling should place their investment into causes that advance the reign of God in the hearts of people. That more often happens in the 165 hours each week we are away from the facility than it does in the three hours we inhabit the facility.”
In the temple courts and house to house. Both. There’s a Scriptural description of both.
Last thing and most important thing: let’s just recognize and be aware that basketball goals and big screens and chairs and walls and paint color are not neutral. It all communicates something. Everything communicates something. Those things may communicate different things to different people depending on their experiences. But all things communicate ideas and shape perspectives and provoke expectations. Nothing’s completely neutral.
Here’s the bottom line. you wouldn’t use a gold-plated tray for BOTH communion and for spitting out your wad of chew. You wouldn’t use the font for BOTH baptisms and hot tub parties. And you wouldn’t use our worship space BOTH for praising God and for screening “Godfather.” We recognize that those lines are there. And we also understand that different people will draw their lines at different places for different things. We just need to be aware that, indeed, those lines do exist. And those things need to be thought through and talked about by church leaders, not ignored. We shouldn’t behave as if it doesn’t matter.
It was 14-3 when Whitney and I left for a quick bite at Whataburger before Bible class last night. It was 23-3 when Bible class began. And then we got home and learned that the Rangers had defeated the O’s 30-3. A modern Major League record. An all-time American League mark. And it immediately got me thinking: how many games this year will the Cowboys score 30 points? What’s the over-under on that? I’d put it at two. And I’d take the under. Along those same lines, the folks in Baltimore were thinking the same kinds of things. The NFL Ravens, who play across the street from the Orioles, haven’t given up 30 points in a game since the 12th week of 2005. It was funny watching the highlights last night as even the Baltimore fans were cheering for Texas as the score climbed into the upper 20s. As long as we’re getting scorched, we may as well break a record! It’s like cheering for the losing team with a no-hitter on the line in the 8th. At some point you find yourself rooting for the opponent just for a chance to see history.
I was watching an interview with Cowboys coach Wade Phillips last week. And he was asked, as he is almost every day, what he expected out of his team this year. Record-wise. He replied, “I just want to get the best out of the players we have.” He went on to explain that they could have a losing mark this year and, if his players all played up to their maximum levels of expectation, they would still consider it a successful season.
If his players all met the highest expectations, the coach still doesn’t know if they would have a winning or a losing season? It sounds like the coach doesn’t know what he has. Or maybe he’s just overly downplaying things on purpose to manage expectations.
New Cowboys Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart was also asked last week what it takes to be a great defense. And Stewart said it takes three things: no injuries, players playing up to their potential, and luck. According to his criteria, he and the coaches and players have little or no control over two-thirds of what it takes to be great. Now, are they just managing expectations or are they setting themselves up for later when this team stinks?
There are just seven more days until football season. One week from tonight we’ll have eleven college football games, some of them on TV, including the nightcap highlight SEC tilt from Starkville where Mississippi State hosts LSU. Seven more days until the games that count. And the greatest football player to ever wear #7 is John Elway.
At Stanford, Elway never went to a bowl game and lost more games than he won. Although he did hit .321 for the Cardinal baseball team. But he wound up in the College Football Hall of Fame. And that can only be based on the fact he’s the winningest quarterback in NFL history. Which is weak. But, whatever.
Elway was the Colts top pick and the number one draft pick overall in 1983. But he refused to play in Baltimore and wound up in Denver where he played 234 games in 16 years and led the Broncos to six AFC Championship Games, five Super Bowls, and two Super Bowl wins. He went to the Pro Bowl nine times. He was the NFL MVP in 1987 and the Super Bowl MVP in ’99. He’s the only QB in history to pass for 3,000 yards and run for 200 in seven consecutive seasons. He passed for over 51,000 total career yards with 300 TDs and ran for another 3,407 with 33 rushing touchdowns. Elway’s actually the 5th leading rusher in Broncos history. And he could lead a comeback. 47 times Elway took the Broncos on a game-winning or game-tying drive in the fourth quarter or overtime. 46 of those times were against the Cleveland Browns. Or at least it seems that way. Of course, detractors would say he wouldn’t need all those comebacks if he didn’t get his team so far behind at the start. The man did throw 226 career interceptions.
Morton Anderson gets an honorable mention. But Elway’s the best ever #7.
I’m sick of the forced banter between Dale Hansen and new Channel 8 weatherman Pete Delkus. I’ve been watching WFAA TV since before I can remember. But last night I turned it off. For those two to talk about their sex lives and make fun of each other’s sex lives and joke about Viagra and who can and who can’t and then drag the other two news anchors into it is just too much. It’s juvenile, sophomoric, and completely inappropriate. How do they keep any news credibility or legitimacy about them? It’s embarrassing.
I think I’m switching to Fox 4. Possibly 11.