Reflections from the Pastor

                                                       September Newsletter

 

I am often inspired by the writing prompts shared at Writer’s Group during our weekly sessions. So, as I struggled to find a topic for this month’s newsletter, I was grateful to receive encouragement from a fellow writer to develop what I had written for an article. So, I returned to my pencil and notebook. The prompt was: “It just fascinates me so…” And this is how I began:

 

It just fascinates me so…how some can be so certain of what is right and what is wrong. Perhaps it’s the uncertainty and struggle I have within myself – wounds of past hurts and pains that cause me to question myself, but I simply don’t understand how one can know without a doubt, with no ounce of second thought, ‘I am right and you are wrong’. Where is the curiosity and the joy of learning? What happened to new horizons and discovery? And what of the pain and hurt caused to others when such rigid thinking causes division?

 

But before I could develop this further, I found myself staring, unbelievingly at my computer as headlines containing ‘white supremacy,’ ‘racism,’ and ‘hate’ flooded my newsfeed. As the week moved on, I found myself saying with rigid conviction, “Racism and hate crimes are wrong.” But I caught myself, realizing I was guilty of that which I had been writing about. I was certain, without a doubt that those who judged, demoralized, and spoke out against others based on race or religion were wrong, and I was right. But certainly I was right, right?

My struggle made me take a step back and open my Bible. Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”[1] In him “there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”[2] In all that he did, his teaching, preaching and very life, he never showed hate toward others, instead he proclaimed we are to love God and love our neighbors[3], even going so far as to say we are to pray for those who persecute us.[4]

I continue to wrestle with the issue of right vs. wrong and our individual convictions. But I have come to conclude that Jesus is on the side of love and grace, and that is the side I will stand on. I encourage us all to look at our beliefs in light of Scripture, reason, tradition and experience, and to be in conversation with others, but most importantly with God. May this time of uncertainty bind us together in the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord, who is the way, the truth, and the life.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Emily

[1] John 14:6.

[2] Galatians 3:28.

[3] Matthew 22:37-39.

[4] Matthew 5:44.