Welcome and greetings to those of you from Honeoye Falls UMC that have found my blog. I wasn’t planning on advertising that I had a blog because I was curious if it would be found. I was informed last night that at least some folks have found it and have been reading up. Angie and I had a good laugh about that as we talked about it. I think it is really funny, strange, and slightly disturbing, that those that have read some of my thoughts here will already have formed some mental images about me (or Angie) because of what is here. I give you my assurance that there will not be a follow up sermon to the post “Would God Pick Up Your Poop.” For churchgoers to HFUMC this is probably a relief. For those of you that have expressed interest in stopping in some Sunday to worship with us because of my blog, you might be a little disappointed by this. However, I will do my best to be witty and insightful in my preaching, even without any references to poop.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
How I wish I could be a rock star. There is this video of me when I was four. It has been a while since I have seen it because it is on one of those old film movies that you need a projector to watch. But in this video I’m dancing around singing “Rock and Roll, Rock and Roll, Yeah!” I would watch that and think, “this is really cool one day when I’m a rock star this will end up Entertainment Tonight.” Well, I can kinda play guitar, mostly rhythm, I’m not a very good singer, and while I’m not ugly I’m not going to end up in some band just because I’m good looking. So while my childhood dream will never be realized I have picked out pieces of the dream that I can still connect to.
I don’t know exactly what it was that at the age of four made me want to be a rock star so bad. It wasn’t that I was in preschool wishing I could be drinking JD out of the bottle and enjoying the other perks of stardom. I am sure that I would be reading too much into my post-toddler fantasy to come up with a motivation behind that dream, but I know that as I grew up the act of creating something that would affect groups of people became very attractive. I remember the first time that I was asked to speak in front of a really big group. I’m not talking raising my hand in class, or giving an announcement at youth group, I was asked to share what God had done in my life to those at a youth conference numbering 1,000. While I was a little nervous I found the experience to be electrifying. I had a number of people come up to me afterwards and tell me how it had impacted them, and it wasn’t really an ego thing, but I really enjoyed being able to affect so many people at once.
I’ve had the privilege of preaching sermons plenty of times in my life. As a youth pastor most weeks I was teaching classes and giving short messages to the students. The act of crafting and creating something that other people will listen to (hopefully) and might have an affect on their life is a sobering responsibility. It is one that I love though and I am very excited about being able to preach every week. I’ve had a few tell me this excitement will wane, and like them I will be scrambling on Saturday night to throw something together, but I don’t really see that happening. Can’t wait for this Sunday, hope it goes well.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
One of the problems with how Christianity has been lived out over the past several generations is that people think that they can come to this religion as a place for answers. Which to the extent that Christianity is a religion makes sense, but if you step away from the institution and look at what it is really meant to be, and the teachings of Jesus, to come to the Christian faith for answers is absurd. Sure there are answers to the right questions in scriptures, but if we honestly look at those answers we find that they often lead to other questions, and if we are really honest we often find that our original question wasn’t what we really wanted to know anyway.
The Christian faith is about relationship. Our relationship with God, and our relationship with each other. Relationships seldom leave us with answers. Relationships are hard, messy, and complicated, because they deal with two different beings with different values, interests, and concerns. To find the common ground in relationships questions must be asked, and then more questions, and then some more. It is always a process of digging deeper, of finding out more, and eventually getting to the point once you have learned a lot about another you realize that there will always be more to learn and adapt to because just as you are not standing still in your life, neither is the other that you are in relationship with. It is a Truth that God never changes, however since he is in relationship with us and we are ever changing, the way that God relates to us as individuals, as well as the way that he is relating to our current place in history, means that God can be unchanging yet not static at the same time.
I find it interesting that Jesus almost always answered a question with another question, or a parable, but not usually an answer. Seriously, check it out. So why would he do that? Was he trying to be confusing? Did they not ask the right questions? I think that the answer is that this life isn’t about having all the answers; it is about going deeper with each other and our God. That comes from spending time being together, not from having a list of all the right answers to a bunch of questions that actually have very little importance.