Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Deep (Water) Thoughts

After hearing an incredible message from Rev. Bob Edgar last week, I've been doing lots of "deep" thinking. (Not quite as deep as the "Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy," but you get the idea.) If you missed it, Rev. Edgar delivered his sermon in three sentences: 1) Lord, help me to notice the stains when others get spilled on. 2) We are the leaders we've been waiting for. And 3) I love you, and there's nothing you can do about it. I've been considering more what these phrases look like when we put them on, and breathe life into them.

The first statement is really powerful for me because the entire focus is on the stains– on the consequences or reaction to some event. It doesn't say, "Lord help me to discern who is to blame, and find who is responsible for cleaning this up." It merely reminds us to be mindful that people are hurting. Our planet is hurting. It's not about who's at fault. It's about recognizing a need, and addressing it with compassion.

His second statement caught me off guard, and even now I feel a little anxiety in thinking it. We generally like that the expectations on us are pretty low. No one (that I know of) is expecting me to change the world, and I kinda like it that way. But, I heard a song on the radio the other day that said, "What you have is freedom of choice. What you want is freedom from choice." As Christians, it is our responsibility to choose. To choose truth in the face of lies, love in the midst of hatred. To be the lone guy (or girl) standing even if everyone else is sitting down.

God's love for us is complete and unfailing. We are really lucky there isn't anything we can do to change or alter His love, because inevitably we would do it. As Christmas approaches, a time of joy and love, I hope that we'll remember to see the needs of others without judgement, to lead when called, and to share His amazing love with everyone we encounter.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Guest Appearance

I'm learning quickly that the good people of the Water's Edge are folks who embrace the phrase, "Go with the flow." Luckily for us, the "flow" has brought us the opportunity to have an exciting guest preacher this week– one you may not want to miss.

Rev. Bob Edgar is the president and CEO of Common Cause, a national nonpartisan, non-profit "citizens" lobby working to make government at all levels more honest, open and accountable. He has also served as the General Secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ, the President of Claremont School of Theology, and served six terms as the Representative of the 7th District of Pennsylvania in the House of Representatives. He is the author of Middle Church, a call to progressive people of faith to take back the moral high ground from the extremists and make America a better and less divided country.

Rev. Edgar will be preaching about "Deep Water Courage," referencing the "deep water" to which Jesus sends the fishermen in the gospel of Luke. I am excited for the ways in which we might, as a community, be encouraged and challenged by his message this Sunday, and hope you will join me in welcoming him to the Water's Edge.