Doctor Crowe

Doctor Crowe

You may not have heard but I have decided to become a doctor.  In three short years I will be Doctor Reverend Mother (at least that’s what my kids say my title will be.)  I am currently taking classes through Emory University Candler School of Theology.  Yes, that is a Doctor of Ministry not a Doctorate of Medicine. 

It has been thirteen years since I completed my Master’s Degree.  I think my brain must have checked out since then.  I am trying to read my Practical Theology book and it reads like a foreign language to me: 

A practice, according to the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre is “any coherent and complex form of socially established cooperative human activity through which goods internal to that form of activity are realized in the course of trying to achieve those standards of excellence which are appropriate to, an partially definitively of, that form of activity, with the result that human powers to achieve excellence and human conception of the ends and goods involved are systemically extended. 

That is one very complicated, complex definition of practice.  And, did you notice that it is one run on sentence?  This is from a  

fancy schmancy

scholarly kind of book that costs $100.  If I wrote a paper that way and turned it in, it would have red ink all over it.  Not to mention, I thought practice simply meant to repeat something until you got it right.

Oh, these books make my head hurt.  While the presentation and the language of the books maybe highfalutin the basis of the argument is quiet thought provoking.  (Did you notice all the $5 “edumacated” words I used?  Maybe I could sell this article as a scholarly book and get a fortune for it?)

Practice is purposeful activity for transformation.  It means we practice to get better, to be different.  I have never thought of the church as practice before.  But, as I have read and, reflected theologically (which is what you do when you pay lots of money to think) much of what we do in church is and should be practice. 

Life here on earth is about practicing and becoming better, transformed, for our future life in eternity.  We are practicing here on earth in order to do things well in heaven.  What then should we be practicing?  What is it, we will do in heaven, that we need to get prepared for here on earth?

Well, I don’t think we will be sitting on clouds doing nothing.  So sitting in a pew every Sunday isn’t it; though I do think we will be worshipping and more than just once a week.  I think it will be constant, joyous worship full of thanksgiving and praise.  I so look forward to that, long for that. 

I also think, here we go – I know some of you may moan when you hear this but —- I also think we will be working in heaven.  The idea of working in eternity is a strange thought to many. Yet, Scripture clearly teaches when God created Adam, he “took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). Work was part of the original Eden. It was part of a perfect human life.

God Himself is a worker. He didn’t create the world and then just sit around snacking and watching TV for the next million or so years. . Jesus said, “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working” (John 5:17). Jesus himself found great satisfaction and joy in His work. “‘My food,’ Jesus said, ‘is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work'” (John 4:34).

We will have work to do, satisfying and enriching work that we will be so excited about that we can’t wait to do it.  Work will not be drudgery. We will find total joy in serving and working for God in heaven.

Maybe that’s what we should be practicing now?