Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

17 Sep

This is a children’s message catch line about the Bible. You talk with the kids about the faith history recorded in the Bible and then tell them it is helpful for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.
Psalm 101 could be seen as good instructions at any time. Saint Ignatius of Loyola had a system of self-examination. He reviewed weekly, I think sometimes even daily, how he had done in his Christian walk. Psalm 101 would be a great place to start that review. It is a list of basic ways to live right.

1-8 My theme song is God’s love and justice,
and I’m singing it right to you, God.
I’m finding my way down the road of right living,
but how long before you show up?
I’m doing the very best I can,
and I’m doing it at home, where it counts.
I refuse to take a second look
at corrupting people and degrading things.
I reject made-in-Canaan gods,
stay clear of contamination.
The crooked in heart keep their distance;
I refuse to shake hands with those who plan evil.
I put a gag on the gossip
who bad-mouths his neighbor;
I can’t stand
arrogance.
But I have my eye on salt-of-the-earth people—
they’re the ones I want working with me;
Men and women on the straight and narrow—
these are the ones I want at my side.
But no one who traffics in lies
gets a job with me; I have no patience with liars.
I’ve rounded up all the wicked like cattle
and herded them right out of the country.
I purged God’s city
of all who make a business of evil.

I especially like Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of “made-in-Canaan” Gods. I wonder if we just took time at the end of each day to review how we have done living up to the psalm, what that would look like.

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