I created this blog space almost four months ago because I think it’s important for a pastor to communicate with her congregation and one on one conversations are not always possible. I must confess that it took me over three years into this appointment to create the blog space that took four months to begin – but who’s counting? Why did it take so long you might ask? Well, let me be transparent here… writing a blog post scares the fire out of me. That’s why it took so long. But why the fear… why does writing a blog post intimidate me so? I may have to go around my elbow to get to my nose but here’s my answer:
During the Sundays of January I’m utilizing the wonderful sermon series resource from RethinkChurch.org “Hello God? We’ve got questions.” Yesterday was the first sermon in the series entitled, “Why is it that God chose Jesus to be born into a poor family?” The main focus of the sermon was, “Those whom the world considers insignificant are very significant to God.” I wish those were my words, but they belong to Rev. Dawn Chesser, Director of Preaching Ministries of Discipleship Ministries, the author of the series. Using Matthew 25:31-45 I made the case that maybe, just maybe, Jesus was born poor because God doesn’t see the world the same way we do. And it could be that Jesus was born poor to reverse the order of the world. Again, Rev. Chesser’s thoughts not mine, and who am I to fix that which isn’t broken.
As I prepared for and ultimately delivered the sermon, the thing that kept resonating in my mind was how we are often afraid of asking questions. The focus questions that guide this sermon series come from children. Children are naturally curious. We adults tend to give them space to question and learn, to make mistakes and to misunderstand. Yet what I have found through my work in the church is that adults are not so eager to ask questions or at least questions about things we think we should already know. Somewhere along the way some of us have entertained this crazy idea that we should have all this church stuff (ecclesiology), God stuff (theology), Jesus stuff (Christology), Holy Spirit stuff (pneumatology) figured out. As a result we tend to shy away from asking questions. I fear this crazy idea that we should have it all figured out may stagnate the church and more specifically our own spiritual formation. Without questions and quandaries, without struggling with concepts and contradictions, learning slows to a crawl or stops completely.
And this “crazy idea” takes me back to my initial question… Why… why does a blog post scare me? Why does asking questions about God scare us? I would argue that we don’t want to look or sound a fool. We don’t want to put ourselves out there and be judged as unknowing, or unintelligent or … well you get the picture. What if I write something that is, well… bad? What if I write something that is taken the wrong way? What if one of my seminary professors, or my District Superintendent or the Bishop or Jesus reads my blog and they see my mistakes, my poor grammar, my weak argument, my total misinterpretation of scripture, etc. etc. What if?
Yet, if I am, if you are, if we are really significant to God as Rev. Chesser proclaims; if God doesn’t see the world as we do, then who cares!!!! Who cares if I look or sound a fool. Could it be that God is pleased when we are more interested in growing closer to God than in seeming informed? Could it be that God is more pleased with my feeble attempt at blogging to God’s glory than in my lack of talent in doing so?
A blog is a great place to share ideas, but it’s also a great way for others to critique those ideas. I’ve read some of the “not so nice” posts that others have received. And, asking a theological question might get a sideways glance from a few “not so nice” folks. So maybe begin by asking questions in places and spaces where the atmosphere is kind. This blog space will be a kind and safe space to ask questions, struggle with theology and attend to the stuff of life together – I promise! Build up your confidence with me and then let’s throw caution to the wind as we seek to grow closer to God together.
And so… there it is – or here it is – my first blog post… rambling and clumsy as it may be.
Please share your thoughts and insights. Please offer your questions so that we may all struggle with them together. But most importantly be kind and remember that we are all significant to God even those of us shaking in in our shoes as we press “Enter.”