May 28: More Stump, More Chump!

Newbie from Cordie writes, “Dear Chump, you have provided questions or thoughts to ponder which have been great. Could you dig deeper into Christian meditations and ask readers to share what they receive from it? It might be kind of neat to hear what God is saying to your flock?”

Dear Newb,

I’ve always felt that inviting a Scottish pastor to comment upon meditation is like bringing a slingshot to a ballistic missile gunfight!  While there are a few Scot voices in classic fantasy writing (George MacDonald) there aren’t much in meditation!  So Chump feels a wee intimidated to comment, but will attempt a go.  Chump’s sourcing for meditation springs from the Prayer Book’s Daily Office firstly.  I’ve enjoyed quiet reflection upon such authors as Thomas Merton, Richard Foster (a Coloradan whose excellent writings produced a movement named Renovare I have benefited greatly from), C.S. Lewis, and even Richard Rohr (whose Franciscan integrative theology I am not always comfortable with but whose work both challenges and engages me.  See his center here.).  Nearby in the Roaring Fork Valley is the Snowmass Monastery which housed the great Centering Prayer movement of Thomas Keating, perhaps the most accessible meditative practice with which to begin.  Chump hopes that helps!

 

East Vail Doctor writes again, “Dear Chump, Has coronavirus become a false God?”

Dear Doc,

I’m in sales not management!  But here goes anyway….anything which distracts us away from God’s nature, presence and love qualifies in the biblical sense as sin.  False gods are those who seek to compete with God for our attention, fealty and highest regard, all of which contribute to the biblical sense of worship.  While this virus certainly has hijacked the lives we were living, and therefore can absolutely be understood as distracting, I don’t believe the experience of contagion is something folks want to worship per se.  A closely related biblical term is idolatry, in which some lesser being is substituted for the one true God.  I do believe (and suspect you do also) that our current obsession with COVID-19 approaches idolatry by virtue of placing the recovery of the lives we were living before as paramount above any other virtue, goal and objective.  I for one don’t necessarily expect or even desire to simply go back to the way it was before, if that is possible.  I am all in for God in the present moment I am privileged to inhabit.  The Matthean Jesus did counsel us to worry about today as tomorrow will have its own distinct worry list.

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