Your Blog Steward

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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sticking it out

I guess I was lucky...

Years ago, about to receive my college degree, my adviser urged me to go to graduate school. "The academy needs people like you." I remember my adviser in graduate school who invited us to the first day of class back in 1985 with the introduction "Welcome to one of the two last medieval institutions left in the world--the other is the church." In my second graduate school, my adviser encouraged me to enter the ministry to "keep my options open." I have turned a talent for careful reading, patient thinking, and a general avoidance of anything that could be called "labor" into a career. I guess I'm lucky.

People have seemed to respond pretty positively to my ministry over the past 25 years. Of course, all the people I've forgotten, or ignored, or let down, or dismissed have all been too gracious to raise complaint. People may not like what I do or how I do it, but they often let me do it...there is something to be said for that.

Looking back, I can see some trajectories and influences that have been fairly consistent in my life. Whether you call them values, tendencies, traits, or predilections they lead me to believe something exists outside of my knowledge and control. And although this "something" has not always worked in my favor, I have seen enough to trust in its benevolence, in general.

But the "something" is really a "some way." Life is the manifestation of relationships in time and space, and time and space are the context of our lives. Your mother influences you one way or another--the question is how? This is where God makes the most sense to me. God is the power that frees those manifestations of relationships to live. Life is trusting in the power of God to create a reality of love.

That's why I wrote a book about God as "the Trinity." That doctrine (One God, Three persons) expresses the power, the relationships, the love, the freedom God has for all of us. That I make a living professing a "religion" which seeks to obviate that reality for one of its own constructions, just makes my life more interesting. (I imagine where I an auto mechanic, my ideas would be way more acceptable, and not constantly being ignored because they don't fit rote or sentimentalized traditionalism.) So I struggle to make sense of my world. Don't we all?

I can only assume John, Paul, George, and Ringo must of felt the same way singing these lyrics.

May your tables be full, and your conversations be true.

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