Monday, May 03, 2010

Gleanings from the Pastor's Perspective: Cultural Recovery

The Pastor’s Perspective
“Cultural Recovery”
First Published: November 9, 2000

I am writing these thoughts only a few hours before Election Day begins, though you will read them afterwards. As such, there is not a little anticipation (dare I say anxiety) on my part regarding the outcome. The votes of the day will say much about the near future of our country. The general prosperity of the last 20 years has masked a range of serious problems that threaten the very foundations of our Republic. The correction or continuation of these trends does not ultimately depend upon which party is in power and who won on Tuesday, but the victors of this election will certainly be catalysts, for good or ill.

One thing is for sure. The continuation of our culture as we know it will depend, at least in part, on the recovery of historic evangelical Christianity in the church. Yes, I meant what I wrote: in the church. Only when the church again becomes the church, do I expect to see the incremental steps towards reformation that will be necessary to recover the huge losses of the last four decades. And one more thing. That battle will make Tuesday’s look like child’s play.

On to happier things. My heart is still full from the prayer time of our Officer’s Retreat. Once a year, our elders, deacons and ministers gather for reflection, fellowship, singing, thinking, evaluating, and prayer. We did so this past Monday evening. And the prayer time at the conclusion of the evening was as sweet and powerful as I’ve experienced since being a First Presbyterian.

You don’t get to see our officers in action as a group once-a-month like I do twelve times a year. Consequently, many of you don’t have the vantage point to appreciate their carefulness and prayerfulness with which they take their work. I especially look forward to hearing them pray for one another and for the congregation at the end of their meetings every month. You’d be humbled and thankful if you heard them intercede.

Well, on Monday night, after talking about significant things like “what can we do as officers to sharpen each other to be more effective?” and “how can we as officers better know and serve our sheep?,” the brethren got down to the business of prayer, and all our hearts were warmed. May God hear his servants and answer with his reviving Spirit.

Your friend,

Ligon Duncan

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