I got an email this week from a young woman in our congregation. She has recently read Jerry Bridges’ book The Practice of Godliness. I am familiar with this book. Originally published in 1983, a second edition came out in 1996. Around that time, I used this book with a group of college students for a weekend retreat. Bridges challenges us to pay attention to the various facets of a godly life. In his chapter on patience, he says,
Christian character is like a single garment woven from threads of varying colors and shades. From a distance the garment appears to be a single color, but closer examination reveals that it takes a combination of different colored threads to produce the overall effect. The casual observer is not too concerned with those various threads; he notices and appreciates the garments overall effect. The creator of that cloth has to consider each thread individually, ensuring that the right shades and colors correctly follow the pattern of the design.
Patience resembles other characteristics, but has a unique place in the overall character of the godly man or woman. Bridges describes patience as
a godly reaction to a variety of situations
I don’t know about you, but I consider myself an inpatient person. I get irritated at long grocery store lines; I find myself frustrated by inefficient workers. Yet I know that God calls us to patience.
(Colossians 3:12–13 NIV) Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
This week, we are going to be talking about patience in worship. We will be considering James 5:7-10. Remember that we will be gathering in a combined worship service at 10:45 AM (everyone will attend Sunday school at 9:15 AM). The United Choir will be presenting music and two men will be baptized. It will be a special service. I hope you can join us.