While reading James Smith’s new book, Imagining the Kingdom I came across this brilliant thought:
“I cannot “choose” to fall asleep. The best I can do is choose to put myself in a posture and rhythm that welcomes sleep. ‘I lie down in bed, on my left side, with my knees drawn up; I close my eyes and breathe slowly, putting my plans out of my mind. But the power of my will or consciousness stops there.’ I want to go to sleep, and I’ve chosen to climb into bed—but in another sense sleep is not something under my control or at my beckoned call. ‘I call up the visitation of sleep by imitating the breathing and posture of the sleeper. . . . There is a moment when sleep ‘comes,’ settling on this imitation of itself which I have been offering to it, and I succeed in becoming what I was trying to be.’ Sleep is a gift to be received, not a decision to be made. And yet it is a gift that requires a posture of reception—a kind of active welcome.
What if being filled with the Spirit had the same dynamic? What if Christian practices are what Craig Dykstra calls ‘habitations of the Spirit’ precisely because they posture us to be filled and sanctified? What if we need to first adopt a bodily posture in order to become what we are trying to be?”
Sounds like a great deal, from AP News:
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – A Los Angeles restaurant is offering a deal to customers who agree to look at their fellow diners instead of their phone screens.
Eva Restaurant is giving a 5 percent discount to customers who will leave their cellphones with staff when they are seated.
Owner Mark Gold told KPCC radio (http://bit.ly/Pn6Jx1 ) on Tuesday that the policy isn’t about other diners who might be annoyed by cellphone chatter or the glow of smartphone screens, but an attempt to create an environment where diners connect to each other instead of to technology.
Servers make the offer to diners when they introduce themselves.
Gold says nearly half take advantage of the discount, and many express gratitude at the opportunity to let go of their devices for a while.
Every year Beloit College releases a list of things that this year’s college Freshmen won’t know about. The tradition started to help college teachers not use references their students would be unfamiliar with. It is called The Mindset List. This year, the mindset list has been condensed to the following infographic:
Which item surprised you the most, let us know in the comments.
We don’t usually think of Easter as a funny event. However, the resurrection of Jesus is one of the truly ironic, and hence funny events in human history (J. R. R. Tolkien called it a Eucatastrophe).
The early church understood this well, most notably in the way Augustine described the cross as God’s mousetrap to catch Satan:
“The cross of the Lord was the devil’s mousetrap; the bait by which he was caught was the Lord’s death”
In light of this metaphor, the early Greek Orthodox church developed a custom where:
“On the day after Easter, clergy and laity would gather in the sanctuary to tell stories, jokes, and anecdotes. The reason given was that this was the most fitting way of celebrating the big joke that God had pulled on Satan in the resurrection. … In the early church, the ‘big joke’ was also expressed humorously by representing Jesus as the bait in the mousetrap with which Satan was caught.” (God Created Laughter, 25)
The theme of Christ as the bait to catch Satan is expressed in the painting below. The painting shows Joseph, who is a carpenter, and who has constructed a mouse trap symbolizing Christ’s trapping and defeat of the devil.