We stand on the brink of one of the strangest Holy Weeks of my life. Unable to go to church because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am pretty sure this will be the first Easter Sunday that I don’t visit a sanctuary and worship.
Category: Devotional Thoughts
In a previous post, I wrote about my first experience with a Buddhist “temple” in the central part of Thailand. On our last full day in the country, our team visited a more classical form of a Buddhist temple when we traveled to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep outside of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. The story behind this temple features the legend of a white elephant carrying Buddha’s shoulder bone to the top of a mountain, trumpeting three times, and then dropping dead. Based on this omen, the story goes, a temple was immediately ordered built on the site.
After breakfast, a devotion (our team is going through the book of Ephesians during our trip), and a primer on some Thai language and cultural do’s and don’t’s, we set off for the Mahanakhon, Bangkok’s tallest building. At the top of the building, there is an observation deck where you can look out over the whole city. There is even a glass platform you can step out onto and literally look down at some of the buildings.
As soon as I confirmed that God was sending me to Thailand, I started trying to read as much as I could about the Buddhist faith. (It is unfortunately my nature to believe that gathering as much information as possible is the way to solve any problem.) I started trying to envision what conversations I might have with a Buddhist about Jesus and the Christian faith. I wondered how I might engage them where they are and what aspects of Christianity might resonate best with some of their beliefs. As I did this, God laid three truths on my heart that I wanted to share with you as we continue to pray about his upcoming trip:
In church life, you hear the word “worship” used to describe many different aspects of Christianity. Many times it is used as a description of how the entirety of our lives should be lived to please God. Paul was using it this way when he said, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1) Evangelist D.L. Moody famously said that that problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps crawling off the altar!