St John's Lutheran Church, La Grange IL 60525 (LCMS)

St. John's Lutheran Church and School
47th Street and Brainard Avenue, La Grange, Illinois 60525

 
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The Cure for Cabin Fever

February 24, 2013

Though the snow has been practically absent this season, winter hasn’t lost its edge to wear us down. Less daylight, the chill of windy days, aggressive bugs and dangerous flu stains have all conspired to weaken many. I too hunger to shed the winter clothes, open the windows to a fresh spring breeze and even enjoy a vigorous bike ride. In Chicago, February really is the dead of winter and the height of cabin fever.

While spring days are likely weeks in the distance and most of us won’t be escaping to warmer locales anytime soon, we still need a cure for cabin fever. I think the first step (whenever it’s safe to do so) is to “get out” of the sequestration of the house, the office, the car, or whatever is confining us. Even if the weather limits us, getting out, moving around and connecting with people as much as we reasonably can sure beats the alternative. Spiritually, emotionally and physically, our Lenten discipline at St. John’s provides a good framework to “get out” and refresh our days.

Daily Devotions +

Group Life Gatherings +

Worshipping Together =

Medicine for the Soul

The Cure for Cabin Fever!

This three-fold framework is something we’ve worked to develop together over several years. We intentionally schedule less in the activity calendar here to focus on a few key movements of refreshment for the spirit.

The Proverbs
A key element in this year’s equation involves opening the Book of Proverbs. Our Lenten Devotional Booklet uses one each week and our Sunday worship services are shaped around that same verse. In Group Life conversations, many more proverbs are soothing, challenging and breathing fresh air into the lives of people meditating on these treasures of the Bible. “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Pr. 16:24).

Getting Out
The best part of this Lenten journey is when we “get outside” with the healing words we have received. I’m starting to hear people around St. John’s quote proverbs from worship, their small group conversations and their personal devotions. When the Word of God “gets out” of the pages of the Bible and into conversations that bless our homes, workplaces, neighborhoods and markets we add daylight to winter, warmth to the chill in the air and refreshment to all that seems stale and lifeless. When you take in a proverb and let it refresh your soul, you have an equal opportunity to let it “get out” and bless someone else. The treasure of a proverb is that each is short enough to be easily carried around in our thoughts; and at the same time each is concentrated (even time-released through meditation) in its wealth of understanding to bless neighbors and entire communities. “Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted.” (Pr. 11:11).

One word of caution: many proverbs are challenging and are meant to shape our hearts. Sometimes those words can be used as weapons rather than personal refinement. An example of a misused proverb would be, “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” (Pr. 25:24). If we want to use that strong medicine, we should each apply that medicine in small doses to ourselves so that we might be refined into a greater blessing rather than a self-righteous annoyance.

Proverbs have become my own vacation retreat into the Word of God this season. Their wisdom has connected me to the heart and mind of Christ. They have liberated me from those dark cooped up places into a fresh understanding of the mind and peace of Christ. “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” (Pr 1:5). It’s the cure for cabin fever.
 

 

 

(c)2012 St. John's Lutheran Church and School | 505 S Park RD | La Grange IL 60525 www.sjlagrange.com
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Pastor's Blogs

Bill Geis has led a variety of missional ministries for over 20 years. He has served as senior pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church in La Grange, Illinois since 2004. He is the proud father of teenage daughters, Erica and Monica. His partner in ministry and in marriage, Sandi Geis, serves with him on the team at St. John's as prayer ministry leader, devotional writer and music teacher. He has a passion and calling to rally Christian communities and disciples to help people Meet Jesus in authentic and life changing ways.

 
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