Archive for October, 2017

The Quietness of Faith

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Faith is a quiet, important endeavor.

It matters in this slow, deep way of a silent companion… a choice to do important work.

Important work is easily dismissed by the audience. It involves change and risk and thought.

Popular work resonates with the people who already like what you do.

Viral work is what happens when the audience can’t stop talking about what you did.

Every once in awhile, all three things will co-exist, but odds are, you’re going to need to choose.

Seth Godin

Solving Problems vs. the Search for Scapegoats

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

I loved a recent article by Kelly Oliver. In that article she shared a significant point…

… outrage, censoring and public shaming has begun to replace critique, disagreement and debate.

Much of that outrage, censoring and public shaming stems from a human propensity to scapegoat vs. a disciplined dedication to solving problems.  I might capture the scapegoating view this way, “If the problem is “out there”, my only option, given I can do nothing about it, is outrage.”

And yet, as Christians, we are asked to engage.  The whole concept of “incarnation” is based on engagement, on the spiritual joined to the natural, realized in the here and now, “As in heaven, so upon the earth.”

For those in the New Church, that embodiment runs from the high and mighty endeavors of our lives to the mundane and simple.  Integrity.

Maybe this… maybe we are here, as a church, to be a place where we can recapture a sober yet powerful approach to solving problems.  Doing so of course means embracing the discomfort of “critique, disagreement, and debate.”  And it means also embracing this simple Swedenborgian concept … that love in action is what remains.  Somehow those two combine … the work AND the hope.

Nothing easy there.  But it sure beats scapegoating where nothing happens because the fault always outside our power to be agents of change as God gives us to see it.

What can you do?  Join us.  That simple.

Forgiveness? Las Vegas?

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

We awoke today to the heart breaking news around Las Vegas. Tragic. Senseless.

It is hard to hold.

And how does forgiveness fit in? How can we start on that path when an event so raw and unnerving leaves us reeling?

The answer simply is that I don’t know.

I imagine however, from a Christian perspective, the best we can do starts small with grieving the loss. Moves to helping in the ways we feel God is calling us to help. And connecting as best we can with those we love … a reminder of the deep preciousness of life.

As Christians, our God is not a God of vengeance. Our God is a God who faces the very worse of humanity, as seen in the story of Easter crucifixion, with the fragility we can so readily connect with at times like these, “My God, my God, why have your forsaken me?” as well the very best of God-given depth we can connect with captured in these words, “God forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.”

Both doubt and forgiveness, part of the Easter crucifixion story.

Doubt and forgiveness, part of our story too.

And as Anne Lamott so poignantly reminds us, that despite all the darkness in the world, grace will always bat last.

That I know to be true.