- 9:30am: Prayer for our Church
- 9:45am: Sunday School
- 10:55am: Worship
- 3:00pm: After-School Tutoring
- 5:30pm: Wednesday Night Dinner
- 6:15pm: Wednesday Night Program
- 7:00pm: Choir Practice
Karl Barth, the respected theologian of the 20th Century, is often cited for noting that Christians should “…hold the bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other.” What Barth was trying to get at was that the bible, as well as our faith in God, has real world implications.
Barth understood the call of Jesus as something which doesn’t take us out of the world, something that isn’t a call to hide behind a pile of rocks, but rather engage with the stuff of this world, both good and bad, as we work together to help Christ’s kingdom reality break forth. The stuff of the newspaper – the headlines that stir up the fears inside us – offer an invitation to shine Christ’s light and love in the face of the powers and principalities that try to overwhelm us. Barth recognized that we live in a real world, and in spite our best efforts to hide, we are unable to remove ourselves from the circumstances that surround us.
For many years, I’ve heard good church members suggest that politics and religion don’t mix, often appealing to the American constitutional “separation of church and state” as their basis for that belief. I understand that fear that comes with dealing with “political” issues, for politics these days is often divisive, led by pompous pundits screaming at one another on TV. And yet, politics (derived from the root word “polity”) is simply how we as a society organize ourselves to avoid anarchy. If our faith means anything, it’s likely going to have an impact on our vision as how society is to be best organized, and likely to lead us to argue for the primacy of love and justice as a guiding vision for life in the world. As circumstances arise, our faith will lead us to proclaim a vision of mutual respect and honor, responding out of fear and anger, but with a different way of looking at the world, given by God through the Holy Spirit, reflecting God’s desires for the world. Faith is integrally intertwined with our view of the world, which is the way God has intended it from the beginning.
During September we are going to spend some time looking at faith as it intersects with the real world. We’ll begin this Sunday with a word for live in the midst of an economic crisis. Next week we will consider the implications of 911 ten years after the fact, and how our faith helps us to make sense of all that has happened since. We will follow that we an examination of the problems and issues faced by children and youth in our world today, and end the month thinking about how our faith provides a vision to guide our decision making on the issues that face us.
I don’t claim to have all the answers, nor for that matter know all the questions that face us. My hope is that we can open our hearts and minds to God’s Spirit and begin to think about how our faith is connected to the real world.
Come join in the conversation in September,
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