Tuesday, October 29, 2013

the story of the world

Eleanor of Aquitane and her son, Richard the Lion-Hearted fought the Turks for Jerusalem during the time of the Crusades which occurred from 1095 to 1291.

During the Hundred Year's War, Joan of Arc and King Charles VII led the French to defeat England at the Battle of Orleans. In the late 1340's, fleas on rats carried the plague which killed one out of three Europeans. (Classical Conversations
Romans went to the Colosseum to see bloody sports- sports where people and animals died terrible deaths. Crowds cheered as they watched staged battles. In one battle alone, 10,000 people are said to have died! People also watched as gladiators fought one another or wild animals. (Ancient Rome and Pompeii, Mary Pope Osborne)

It seems a good practice to begin one's day with a bit of World History.

Classical Conversations, our homeschool program, includes memory work of historical events and the timeline of world history. And so at about 9:30 every morning after she practices the piano, I listen as Sam reviews (currently) the Middle Ages, and the song which covers the timeline of world history.

For our history lesson we then read books that flesh-out the memory work; this week is Ancient Rome and the Renaissance.

And then all day long I think things like . ..

Our government shut down for a few days? That's nothing.
Football players with concussions? You could have been a gladiator.
 Pesticides, additives, GMOs? be glad it's not the Middle Ages.

And . ..

Thank God for vaccinations.
Thank God for soap.
Thank God for sanitary systems.

And . ..

Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly Meaningless!

Oh the world is one long tragedy, there is too much sorrow how does the earth continue? Is it all we are here for, to be lonely and suffer and hurt each other and then to die?

And then there it is in the middle of the timeline song: Jesus the Messiah! 

I don't know how one would cope, without these words intersecting the history of the world; without hope as an anchor for the soul. It is all one long sad twisted joke, if not for Christ.

I am finding an even deeper worship, remembering daily my place and my smallness, the vapor of life in the scope of time and history, and Jesus, the Messiah, who intersects history for God so loved the world and looking forward to the day when all shall be well.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”  Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Rev.21
I go for a jog and I can run with my eyes to the ground, and leaves have fallen and everywhere there is falling and decay and death and meaningless meaningless.

Or I can run with my eyes on the trees, and all year long the leaves have been watching the heavens declare God's glory, and I imagine them whispering it's coming! it's coming! it's glorious! it's glorious! 
Every morning you should wake up in your bed and ask yourself: "Can I believe it all again today?" No, better still, don't ask it till after you've read The New York Times, till after you've studied that daily record of the world's brokenness and corruption, which should always stand side by side with your Bible. Then ask yourself if you can believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ again for that particular day. If your answer's always Yes, then you probably don't know what believing means. At least five times out of ten the answer should be No because the No is as important as the Yes, maybe more so. The No is what proves you're human in case you should ever doubt it. And then if some morning the answer happens to be really Yes, it should be a Yes that's choked with confession and tears and. . . great laughter.” -Frederick Buechner

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