This week we will finish the third section of We Make the Road by Walking, the one that focuses on the life and ministry of Jesus, Paul and the early church, carrying us through the Lenten and Easter seasons. Here the focus is on Paul and the others in the early church who sustained their faith through all the difficulties and persecution that came their way. They truly “made the road by walking it,” keeping the movement going in spite of all they had to struggle with.
Today, when we live in an environment that is at least tolerant and often hospitable to the church, I wonder if we don’t have it too easy. I’m not advocating increased suffering as a means of strengthening our faith, but these texts make me think of those people around the world who hold on to their faith at great risk. I think of Christians in Myanmar, India, the Middle East, parts of Africa, who are persecuted and even killed for holding fast to what they believe about the Gospel. There is something stirring about sisters and brothers in the family of faith who are willing to lay down their lives for what we often profess so easily and glibly.
Brian McLaren has challenged us to see the Gospel as fomenting a “global uprising” for peace and justice, for love and compassion, for establishing the Beloved Community of God on earth today. As people of privilege we have unique challenges in living into that Beloved Community. How do we let the Gospel be so rooted in our lives that it transforms us in the way it has transformed the lives of those around the world willing to risk their lives to make it real? How do we partner with them in bringing the Body of Christ fully alive?
We did begin the series, “Painting the Stars: Science, Religion and an Evolving Earth,” last week as the pastor found the video at the last minute. (Sigh!) The video is thoughtful and well produced, inviting us to understand an “evolutionary paradigm” as compatible, even helpful, in understanding our faith tradition. As usual the discussion was lively and helpful. We will continue the series this Sunday with a consideration of “A Renaissance of Wonder.”
Please plan to be here by 10:00 AM for worship and Sunday School, followed by Adult Spiritual Formation. What better time to bring others along to share in the life of our community than this blessed Easter season?
May we continue to grow together as God’s people.