Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Jubilee Blogging

I’m fifty. I’ve been fifty for, oh, about eleven months now, which means that soon I’ll be 51, which seems a whole lot more mature than fifty for some strange reason. Anyway, when I turned fifty people said, as if to give me something to feel cheerful about, "Hey, congratulations, it’s your jubilee year!"

It seems there’s some sort of superstitious notion going about the Christian world that God blesses people in their "jubilee year." Kind of like that other numerical notion we’ve heard about lately, the one that insists that 2007 is the year of completion! Oh my, this sort of thing makes it hard to tell your friends and co-workers that your faith is very different than, say, astrology!

But I’m off on a tangent. Sorry. What I meant to say was, though I don’t really believe in jubilee years, I have tried nevertheless to think of this year as a kind of milestone, and to use it as one uses milestones. I’ve stopped, rested a bit, and taken stock. Speaking in "spiritual" terms, I’ve tried to get to the core matters of my faith; to leave the peripheral at the periphery. My intention has been to strike for the center and by God’s grace stay there for the rest of my time this side of heaven.

In doing so I realize I’ve been rather cranky at times. Impatient, even. I’ve come to want Jesus, to crave Jesus, and only Jesus. Another way of saying that same thing is, I’ve come to want the Gospel, to crave the Gospel, and only the Gospel. Everything else, especially when it is espoused and promoted in the context of the church or of the faith, is not only peripheral, it is "against" the center. It distracts. It misleads. It is all promises and cajoling in an oh so christian way, but it is really turning the Bride of Christ into a meandering crowd of thrill-seekers.

There, cranky like that. See what I mean? But I’m not exactly repentant about it. I think it’s been necessary. It has been a year of refining. I have sometimes been one ranting great pain in the butt, I know, but I’ve needed for my own sake to call spades, even the christian variety, spades.

So be it. What has been really exciting during these times is to realize that I’m not alone in this refining process. I have found others, pastors, bloggers, writers, struggling with the same issues, and many of them have been mightily clarifying for me. I've heard tell of a veritable movement among Christians to re-focus attention on Christ and His cross. Perhaps the Gospel Coalition is but one aspect of that growing movement. And I think most of the bloggers on my blogroll would fit the bill as well.

So here's the deal. I don't promise to never be cranky again (well, not until the Kingdom comes), but I'm going to try more often to focus my attention on the joyful business of cleaving to Jesus (aka, discipleship). I'm going to link to Christ-centered bloggers more often, and I'm going to post frequently my own thoughts and struggles concerning what it means "know nothing . . . except Christ crucified."

I thank everyone who has hung in there with me so far. I'm feeling strangely enthused!


Anonymous said...

sounds good!

Jared said...

Crank away, old man!


Bob said...

Hey! Wait a minute!

Anonymous said...


Milton Stanley said...

Seems only fair that if the land got to rest during the jubilee year, that everyone ought to get a year off work (with pay, of course) when we turn 50, don't you think? Somehow I get the feeling you didn't--could that be why you're cranky?

Bob said...

Hmm, I hadn't thought of that. Do you think I might be able to get next year off instead? I'll ask my boss!