Your Blog Steward

My photo
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.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Going Back to Where I Began, part 1

I keep a couple of acquaintances as Facebook friends because they have extreme political views, and in a couple of cases they are total opposites. Recently, my FB feed had one friend decrying giving a made-up sports award that means nothing in the real world that I actually live in to Caitlyn Jenner, and the very next post was from a friend who found it inspiring and thought it was great. This is our world.
We don’t see eye-to-eye on anything these days. Given the unlimited and intractable scope of the internet, and surely everything is up for debate. Even more than that, people will go to battle it seems just to see that their view on a subject “wins” in the court of public opinion.
Thank God for Jesus Christ. My favorite verse of scripture comes from First Corinthians as Paul writes:
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. It is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? Since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. “Jews” demand signs, “Greeks” desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, stumbling block to “Jews” and foolishness to “Gentiles,” but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and wisdom of God. God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
                                                                           1 Corinthians 1.18-25
In other words, God is more reliable than Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Snapchat. Or whatever else has been developed since I wrote this sentence. Way back when, long before smartphones, computers, or even electrical circuitry, God thwarted the plans of the clever. It’s no different now. We just seem to have more people who claim to be “clever.” God is still thwarting them.
You see, to believe in Jesus Christ is to believe that in dying you live, in serving you love, and in laughing you conquer death. As our lives get bombarded with sound bytes from one debater after another; as we scramble to limit and filter the messages we receive, as well please remember the gift you have received from God. That losing isn’t the end of the world, that light shines in the darkest of rooms, and that you have more value to God than you realize. The world may not seem to love you, but God does.

If you need proof of that love, just look at a cross. Remember your baptism. Share holy communion with a stranger. That’s all the wisdom you’ll ever need.

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.