Field Notes – 25/6/S
“There are many temptations to which solitude gives great advantage; but the fellowship of believers contributes much to their strength and safety.” (Matthew Henry)
“Information is gold. Information is wealth. Know the state of your flocks. Do not assume you know how your herds are doing. Check it out. Look well to your herds. Go look.
The reason the exhortation is necessary is that when you are not looking, all kinds of things are happening. They don’t cease their activity simply because the overseer is being a slouch. Unwatched weeds grow. Unwatched sheep wander off. Unwatched ledgers get into a horrible mess. So the reason given for being diligent and looking well to your herds is that riches are not forever, and the legacy of a crown is not automatic.
But when you have wealth—any amount of it, any form of it—the easiest thing in the world to do is to take its continued existence for granted. All of us tend to think that whatever happened to us last year, provided it was good, is an everlasting birthright. It will continue on, automatically. No, it won’t. Be diligent. Look well.”
A helpful pattern to adopt?
Start the Scripture reading with “This is what God’s Word says…”
End Scripture reading with “This is the Word of the Lord.”
Congregation response “Thanks be to God.”
A relatively new commentary series that looks like a useful addition is the Lectio Continua Expository Commentary of the New Testament. I’ve logged it for when I preach 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Hebrews or Revelation.
“Hearing while assembled is different to hearing on your own. Harder to be inattentive in case someone spots you. Corporateness creates accountability. It’s why the writer of Hebrews tells us not to neglect assemblies.” (Christopher Ash)
For some people Sunday is the loneliest day of the week – practice hospitality!