Over the last few days on Facebook I have been watching as several of my friends from seminary and other clergy I've met along the way comment on the various distractions they engage in during Presbytery meetings. Along with it being Advent, it seems that many Presbyteries hold their last meeting of the year in December. One colleague from Denver remarked how she and about eight others (probably among fifty to sixty clergy present) text one another throughout the meeting, even texting the person who is giving a report if they know his phone is on, you know, giving him a buzz. Another friend from West Virginia was lamenting how she wished she had taken up knitting so that she could get something done during the all-day meeting. And earlier this week I pondered whether or not buying a Kindle so that I could upload my Presbytery agenda to it would be justification enough for the $259 expense.
All that is to say, myself included, not too many people a keen on a day spent at the quarterly Presbytery meeting. Included among those who wonder about meetings is the prophet Amos who says for God, "I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies" (Amos 5:21). Truth be told, few people take delight in solemn assemblies, which has been evidenced enough on Facebook these past several days.
But as I read a little further in Amos, verse 24 to be exact, "But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream" in those words I see justification for some of the ideas expressed by friends for finding distraction at Presbytery. For wouldn't their be some benefit in knitting a prayer shawl throughout the meeting, of being in prayer for the recipient of the shawl as well as for the work of the Presbytery. Or what about the friend who texts her colleagues in the midst of the meeting, certainly that's better than a gaggle getting up and talking in the halls or worse yet among one another while someone else is trying to speak.
Now I'm not sure that Amos had knitting or texting in mind when he prophesied so many centuries ago, but when you think about how some would have us behave during such a solemn event as Presbytery maybe a distraction every now and again might open the gates and allow justice to roll down.
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1 year ago