“E” is for Enthusiasm (Feb. 19, 2013)

…Opening To…

We come this morning –
Like empty pitchers to a full fountain,
With no merits of our own.
O Lord – open up a window of heaven,
And lean out far over the battlements of glory,
And listen this morning. (James Weldon Johnson)

…Listening In…

“…Whoever does the truth comes to the light so that it can be seen that their actions were done in God.”  (John 3:21; context)

…Filling Up…

This Lent, we are exploring our faith by running through the alphabet. Today, “E” is for Enthusiasm. You might be wondering why I chose this word since, at first glance, it doesn’t seem all that religion-y. You’re right – we don’t use this word too often in church. But we should. Do you see the “T-H-U-S” in the middle of the word? Good. If you follow these letters all the way back in time to ancient Greece, they would have looked like this “θεος” or in our alphabet, “theos.” Look familiar? I’ll give you a clue: we get the words “theology” and “atheism” from this same word.

Right! It means “God.” (Theology is the “study of God,” and atheism is “disbelief in God,” (the “a-” making the word negative).) So, let’s go back to our original word: enthusiasm. When we say we are enthusiastic about something, we usually mean that we are excited or passionate about that something. I am enthusiastic about playing guitar and watching Doctor Who, for example.

But if you look at that little Greek root and add the little Greek prefix (“-en” meaning “in”), you get a bit different definition. Etymologically, “enthusiasm” means “in God.” Therefore, when we talk about our passions and excitements, what we are really saying is “these are the ways that I most clearly notice that I am in God.” Pretty cool, huh?

So, what are your passions? What are you enthusiastic about? How do you meet your Creator when you get involved with them?

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are within me even as I exist always in you. Help me to find those things that bring me closer to you, and help me recognize your presence in my life. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, taking hope in the overarching reality that you are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

One thought on ““E” is for Enthusiasm (Feb. 19, 2013)

  1. What a treat. This is one of the best “treasures” for me from my seminary experience … being able to use Greek and Hebrew to get a sense of what the original authors or speakers were really trying to convey, If we tell today’s vestries we want them to get active in getting the congregants “enthusiastic”, they will cringe inside knowing how difficult, maybe even impossible, that task seems to be. But, if we explain it doesn’t mean “jumping up and down excited” about living their Christianity but instead means living in a way that reflects our relationship to God it sounds safe and noble enough a venture. What will happen is as people study, reflect, meditate, read, discuss … whatever way they choose to get familiar with God, they will actually start to feel motivating excitement!

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