Dream word – FIRE
“Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart.” NKJV
The problem of Prometheus and the preparation for death
“Pastors who imitate the preaching and the moral action of the prophets without also imitating the prophets’ deep praying and worship so evident in the Psalms are an embarrassment to the faith and an encumbrance to the church.” (Eugene Peterson – Working The Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity)
I neither want to be an embarrassment nor an encumbrance, but I am afraid, that my natural tendency is to be so, for I have seen what Promethean fire and its resultant adrenalin-led activity can do in raising the dancing blue flames of man-made hope, both seen flickering and realised in books like “your best life now”. Yes, I’ve seen what those flames of prophetic doing can achieve, what they can get done and boy do we need to get things done! For a when I look around, oh friends, when I look around, there is so much to be done, and frankly so much that we can do now and yet there is oh so very little time to do it in. The needs are so great and our ability to meet those needs are now so possible, that I just want to get on down and go buy that excavator, yeah! Stoke that fire and lay hold of that yellow hot, JCB, earth-moving machine and flip that mountain on its back; build that tunnel, ford that stream, make a way through that mighty river, ‘cause I’ve got, “high in the sky, apple pie.... hopes” that we can move that rubber tree plant! Yes sirree, move it wherever we so well please. We can do it! Let’s shake that thing, yes, let’s shape this thing called our destinies, this thing called our possibilities, yes, let’s get up, let’s get down, let’s get with it and let’s just do it baby, cause we are preparing people for life! Preparing people for change, preparing people to better themselves, to better society and to better the nations of the world! Hallelujah and chaaaaaaaaarge! Have you not heard “We can do it!”
Peterson (in the book I mentioned previously) points out how the present generation of church (I believe the Laodicean Church) has bought into the Promethean myth in such a way that, “We have let ourselves be co-opted in the struggle against limits, committed to raising the standard of living: bigger machines, cheaper chicken...uncritically using the means offered by the world...so uncritically applauded and so readily at hand.......we have joined in the struggle to make life better for everyone with any available means.....the problem is that Prometheus does not pray, there is too much to do and there is little time to do it.” Did you get that? Prometheus does not pray!
Do remember that in the legend, Prometheus redeemed humanity from the tyranny of mortality, by causing mortals to cease foreseeing their personal doom, by placing in them blind hopes and lastly, by stealing fire from the gods and giving it to humanity, for their pleasure, for their profit and for their continual and technological advancement.
Peterson is right in his statement about proclaiming prophets and their lack of prayer, for if there are two things that characterises both the present pastorate and the postmodern community of the saints, it is first, a distinct lack of prayer and secondly, a lack of preparation for a good death. In less than a century, over 6 billion people will die on this planet. Surely this is something we should prepare for and in the so doing, that preparation for death should turn our so short lives into journeys that are baptised in the warm and wet, ever running river of prayer? This is not miserable thinking but it is Biblical thinking! There is so much to do and so little time to do it in that we really must pray and that much, much more. Yet the doing, the blind man made doing has squeezed out all our praying.
Tell me, do you have a Promethean fire in your own personal boiler tonight? After all, just where are you getting your central heating from? What is raising the power of your personal steam, your church’s steam, your mission’s steam? Have you numbered your days? Have you and do you consider your mortality and is your life, lived in its ever lengthening shadow? If you find the thought of that last question maybe to be defeatist, or even repugnant, then I can virtually guarantee pastor, brother, sister, friend and mate, that you’ve got some strange Promethean fire in your boiler, and I tell you, it needs putting out! For if you don’t put it out, it sure as hell will burn you out! Mark my words here. Mark my words.
Yes the two best things and most Biblical things you can do is pray and prepare for your ultimate demise. Think about that tonight.
Listen: “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” - Leviticus 10:1-2 KJV.
Pray: Lord teach me to pray. Lord teach me to number my days. For Lord, I love this strange Promethean power. I just love it Lord! I do not wish to be a Luddite Lord, but I do ask You to put the false fire out and then my Lord, send the Holy fire from Your throne, in Jesus name I ask it, amen.
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