Preceding Grace | What is Shaping Me?

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Lectionary Reading: Jeremiah 18:1-11 (NRSV)

Our culture shapes is in lots of ways.

For a while, we were very body-conscious and the best-sellers all had to do with diets and exercise trends.  While there is still emphasis on being slim and trim, I’m not sure the subject carries the weight it once did (pun intended)!

Quite frankly, it is easier to be more conscious of our bodies than our spiritual lives.

We see our bodies in the mirror on a daily basis.

We know when we are having trouble catching our breath after the flight of stairs.

We encounter lots of advertising using men and women of particular body types.

But as pervasive as body-consciousness is, there may be a new sheriff in town with regards to what captures our attention.  This is because the way we process information today continues to change.  The use of screens has become obsessive for many people.  We gather and are exposed to more information than we were in the past.

While reading a novel written in the 1970’s, I was surprised that the characters in the book were waiting for the 6:00 hour with anticipation so they could learn about the latest national disaster on the evening news.  We are so used to the 24-hour news cycle and its immediate consumption that it sounds strange to think that people used to make it a priority to watch the news at a specific time.

The average amount of screen time for Americans seems to vary widely depending on the study you read but the consensus is that the average continues to increase.  There is so much that we can do on our tablets or smart phones that it boggles the mind.

What are the likely consequences?

How does this shape us?  I don’t think we can definitively say yet.  It is so new that it is difficult to process the good and the bad.

This Sunday, we will let Jeremiah remind us that God will shape us if we are willing.  But it clearly looks like our choice (God will not force our cooperation) in this week’s scripture reading.  Our actions will bring consequences and Jeremiah seems to indicate that we should be more willing to count the cost.

Join us for worship either in Edmond or online and we’ll continue to explore this important topic!

In Christ,


Photo by Malingering via  Used under the Creative Commons license.

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