We talked earlier this morning about unrelated issues but you said something on the order “the previous generation had so much character but they were kind of locked down emotionally” or something like that. our generation is a lot less. two generations ago they were probably locked down even more. My grandfather comes to mind, physically built the church, all his children went, my grandmother was there when the doors open always. 7 children in the 30’s, one more born in the 40’s.
He had a tribe, his aspiration was to have them at his table for the rest of his life. This led to two rather large conflicts, his first son going to war in 42 marrying his high school sweet heart 7 days before enlistment. it was not a good departure, I just read a letter from that uncle to his sister (my aunt louann) asking her to be nice to his wife in the small town where they lived. sad. he never came back, died in the war.
His 2nd son’s wedding he refused to goto because he disapproved of the wife.
I told you in our conversation I’m taking a grad course on amos and hosea now. a little hebrew, a lot of literarcy criticism, and very conservative commentaries (Christian, Jewish, Mormon) and scholarly papers required. Gary Smith’s Commentary on Amos/Hosea (NIV application commentary) is different than the rest, it is conservative but is is application oriented. I very much recommended it.
His discussion on intercession as seen in Amos with reference to Samuel, Jeremiah, Jesus, etc. is very interesting. Something that I’ve endeavored to people as their loved ones fall off the wagon.
Punishment isn’t going to work. In the bad old days of Evangelicism we used to say “just love them”. Well that’s half right maybe. Smith would suggest that out of a heart of love and compassion that we anoint with intercessory prayer the people and situations we know to be interwined with wrong choice. But “If people are focused on their own desires, they will spend little time to pray for the needs of others.” Unfortunately that describes me over to much of my life.
Intercession is a theological discussion that leads us into a dialog with a piece of so-called “open theology”. In Amos it comes down to how we interpret the hebrew word “enh”
which is translated in Amos to God “relented”. This is a word of “emotional response” (of God), Amos in so moved that like a father the best his brokenness can generate is that Israel is “too small”. And God “relents”, his heart was moved.
You will get there I am sure, and you will do well. Because God is involved. Stealing from drama theory, God didn’t just write the play, he is an actor in the play, your role has been and will always be that of the dramaturge, even if it is less than it was. When you have grandchildren you will be given an additional vocation, you will be responsible for blessing.