Each week one of our pastors or staff members writes a column observing what is going on in our congregation, the Church and the world, and offering reflections on the Christian life and faith. Through this series of columns, we hope to connect your and our story to the enduring story of Christ; to offer pastoral reflections on our ongoing congregational life and mission; to report on news of the Presbyterian Church and Church universal; and to invite further reflection and deeper discipleship. We welcome your comments and suggestions. In other words, our words here are an invitation to continue the conversation.
A Signpost and Summons
“The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.” -Isaiah 2:1
Isaiah didn’t hear the word. He saw it in powerful images. A word image, just as it did for Isaiah, can conjure up a new world of story for us to see. For instance...
He Came Down
This Sunday, March 23, at 10 a.m., the walls of our church will resonate with the sounds of singing, country fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, and double bass. Those of you who are familiar with this combination of musicians will immediately recognize it as a Bluegrass ensemble. What is unusual is that the folk music style known as Bluegrass is paired with sacred texts.
God Saw That It Was Good
At the first week of the Genesis series this past Wednesday, we took note of the refrain in Gen 1—as God creates the sky, the stars, the fishes in the sea, from time to time we hear: “God saw that it was good.” What, someone asked, does the text mean by “good”?
In my newly-discovered exercise class, as we were struggling to do one more pushup after what felt like a hundred and counting, and just as I was about to let myself collapse onto the mat, our instructor sang out, “Oh yes, you can!” I believed her. She would know, I figured. So I did the next pushup and kept going, with her words in my head like a mantra, “Oh yes, you can!”
Church as Community
The scripture readings appointed for the month of February, before we begin our Lenten journey in March, focus our attention on the church, the community of God’s people. The gospel readings in Matthew are from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount about what it means to be a citizen of God’s kingdom, and the Epistle readings from 1 Corinthians give us a glimpse of the early church finding its way as a diverse congregation amid a culture hostile to the gospel of Christ.
With Martin Luther King’s birthday just passed and a Congregation-wide Day of Service just ahead, I was already thinking about what our faith calls us to do, even before I heard Agnes’s sermon about how even the news can call us to discipleship.