The Pondering Pastor

These "Ponderings" originally appeared as articles in our church newsletter or bulletin or just as the musings of one bald pastor. I place them here to encourage you, my fellow blogite and maybe to help us all in our pondering.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Living a Questionable Life

IF JESUS IS THE ANSWER, then what is the question?

Therein is the problem for the church in the western world today; we are quick to tell people that Jesus is the answer, but we fail to live lives that cause people to ask the question. I believe it is time to live questionable lives.

What I mean is living lives so eloquently filled with the presence of Jesus that people are drawn to Him through us. Author Dorothy Day (b. 1897) once admonished her readers to, “live a life so mysterious that the only adequate explanation is the presence of a living, loving God.” I believe her statement is a good admonishment for the Body of Christ in America today.

Theologian Paul Tillich wrote, “It is wrong to throw answers, like stones, at the heads of those who haven’t even asked a question. But, this is often what the church does; throwing out solutions to people who do not even know there is a problem. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do believe, Jesus is the answer for the world today, above Him there’s no other, cause Jesus is the way,” to quote a song from my youth, but, too often we have not lived the kinds of lives that draw the questions out of people. It seems to me that even if they are asking questions, they are not sensing the answer in us.

Am I being harsh? Yes, I suppose so, but mostly with myself. If I believe in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago, and His continuing incarnation in His Body today, then we must make a difference in our world. A difference that goes beyond creating a Christian nation or enacting Christian laws, but a difference that brings about a transformation in the hearts of individuals wrought by the presence of the Holy Spirit. That’s the difference we were called to make. And it all begins with each of us being transformed by His power that so mightily works within us. My prayer is that we will all be thus transformed so to live questionable lives that draw people to the Savior.

Questions anyone?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

HOLEY COMFORTER


YES, I SPELLED “HOLEY” CORRECTLY! A number of years ago, as we left Elim Mission Church in Cokato, Minnesota, the women of the church presented us with a handmade patchwork quilt. To look at it back then it was rather plain, but it became the favorite quilt in our family. It was often fought over when desiring to snuggle down with a good book, watch a movie, or take a little nap. Sometimes you would have to go searching for it, only to find it “hidden” under the covers on one of the kid’s beds.

Today the quilt, much like the Velveteen Rabbit, finds itself in the state of much-loved tatters. Lots of the batting has fallen out, pieces of the patchwork are missing, and there are signs of attempted repair, not to mention stains from various late-night snacks. Yet, despite its tattered shape it is still well-loved for the comfort it brings, and amazingly, for the warmth it still provides. I dare say it is still the family favorite quilt, a true comforter.

This holey comforter has lovingly wrapped fever-stricken family members, and it has enveloped those suffering from broken hearts. It has provided a cuddling spot for parent and child, and has even been caught snuggled around two siblings. When wrapped in its warmth the problems of the day have been know to melt away, and it has been a place of security on stormy winter nights. It has served our family well, and though we have thought its days were through, it still remains; doing what it was created to do,

The holey comforter…remains.