Eugene Peterson died this week.
Bono, the lead singer from an Irish rock band U2, reached out to him years ago but Eugene turned him down because he was translating the Old Testament. Eugene had not heard of Bono. He had no idea who Bono was and it took years for these two rockstars to meet. Here is the video of how they met: The message of the Psalms https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l40S5e90KY
Toward the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus mentioned the contrast between the wise and the foolish builder. The most essential part of what we build is not as important as our foundation. Do we build on something solid or something shifting? Foundational comes to mind when I think of Eugene Peterson. I consider the work, including The Message translation of the bible, Eugene has given to us secondary to the man, the pastor, the author, the Christ follower he was. His stories and translation gave us a deep soulful insight into God that only comes from a lifelong relationship with God. Passion, hatred, anger, love, sacrifce, repentance and the mystery of Jesus are graphically depicted in his work whether we read The Message translation of the bible or any of the countless books Eugene wrote during his tenure on earth.
I’ve spent some time trying to imagine the face to face conversation between Jesus and Eugene. How was the great love these two men shared for one another expressed in their final reconciliation? Eternity with Jesus is our reward. The writer of Ecclesiastes stated that eternity has already been planted in the hearts of humanity. (Ecclesiastes 3:11). It provides us with a sense of sacred wonder and awe. Eternity is the essential, dare I say foundational ,witness to those who believe and are astounded by the audacious claim that Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, died for our sins and was buried, he rose from the dead and was seen.
What is the foundation upon which you've built your spiritual life?
Jesus explained the rain will come, the waters will rise and they will beat against us. Jesus was honest as he used a common illustration known to the shepherds and people who lived in the desert region that surrounded Jerusalem. Gentle rain can fall at the upper elevation but it soon becomes a rushing torrent with a hellacious fury as it tumbles downward toward the desert floor without warning. Sheep and people drown to this day because they have no idea what is coming. Anyone who knows better would never build anything on the shifting sand of the desert bottom, but it is tempting. We need each other. We need to look after one another. Sometimes we really do not know what is coming and we need protection even from ourselves.
Please join us for worship Sunday and invite others to join us as we finish our Kingdom Come series. It is important that our community shows up regularly to worship together and strives to stay connected, devoted and generous followers of Jesus Christ. Corporate worship is essential to keep the foundation of our personal spiritual lives strong. We stand to sing praises to our God. We renew our personal covenant. We sing for those who cannot sing. We commit. We hear the Word of God. We surrender to the Spirit of God and we fortify our own spiritual house as a community. Come Sunday!
When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying—quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard. Matthew 7:28-29 The Message