(In The Life Of The Church)
In 2003 I went to Boston for spring break. My most vivid memory of that trip was sitting in a hotel room with college friends watching CNN report live on the campaign “shock and awe.” It was the first time in my very young adult life that the US was “at war,” and that notion was overwhelming for me.
But what turned out to be the most jarring reality for me was not what was happening thousands of miles away in Iraq, though that was certainly important (more important in fact), but what was happening back in Arden Hills, MN, on my campus. On the first Monday after spring break, I made my way to Bethel University Benson Great Hall to attend chapel, and there in the foyer I was greeted by a group of about forty protesting Christians. Those protesters were both students and faculty. They held candles and signs that denounced the war and called for peace. What was more jarring for me was that they were using Bible verses to do it.
Some of you reading may have just scoffed at my response. My own shock. That Christians shouldn’t have been in that war or any war is a foregone conclusion for you. The war is not the point of this post for me. The point is what I learned.
One of the signs that I still remember from that day was one that introduced an Aristotle quote to me. Aristotle said, “The mark of an educated mind is when one can entertain an idea without accepting it.”
Knowing when and how to hold your convictions is an art. I’m often haunted by a story that Peter Rollins tells in his book Fidelity of Betrayal. Rollins tells of Christians during WWII who, when gathered in churches, would sing their hymns more loudly to drown out the nearby cries of Jews being hauled away in train cars to concentration camps. That was not a moment for entertaining an idea. It was a time for action. Action is important.
Being crucified was an action, not an idea. It was THE Action that changed history. But Jesus was crucified in one day; he spent 33 year ministering in the flesh.
It strikes me that so much of life is listening. It is entertaining ideas without accepting them. It is learning to love those who persecute you and disagree with you. It is picking the right moments to speak so that when you do speak, you have a chance to be heard. What I learned in the foyer of Benson Great Hall that day was that different ideas didn’t threaten my formation, they enabled it.
As I was listening to Dr. Tran’s sermon, I thought about this during the part where he talked about the middle. Those of us trying to hold a space of unity in a world that doesn’t seem to have the patience for that space or kind of conversation. To listen patiently is to love. And to love is to suffer. This is the way of the cross, and this is the way of Jesus.
Sunday 11/18 is our second annual youth Sunday! Join us for a service led by our very own youth group, the Order of the Phoenix. The Youth will lead us in a song, scripture readings, and share their stories. This year our focus has been the early church, and the students will discuss what the church means to them and how they have been the church to one another.
Thanksgiving Lovefeast - November 18th - 5:30pm
It’s everyone’s favorite time of year! Our annual Thanksgiving Lovefeast is coming up, and it promises to be delicious. We need you all to bring the side dishes to help compliment the turkey and ham. If you would like to bring a dessert, please sign-up on Sunday in the foyer. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com .
Lost and Found
We will be purging the lost and found at the end of this month. So if you have been missing a favorite water bottle, iPhone, bible, sweatshirt or whatever, please make a point to stop by the lost and found soon. It is located in copy room behind Kim’s office.
Random Pic To Generate Clickbait Traffic
Parishioner of the Week
Michael Heinz who assisted Bridget Heinz in a state of the art family weekend breakfast.
Work is Worship
Greeters: Ricky and Rose
Coffee Makers: College Women’s Group
Mug Cleaners: Andrew S-C
Money Counter: Kuhl
Welcome Station: Broadesses
Sermon Text: Mark 12:38-44 “The Most”
11-18 Youth Sunday
11-4 Bring Parents to Church Day
12/5 Pre-Pancake Party Mens and Women’s college group
12-9 Last Sunday of the fall semester/Christmas Youth (5-6)
12-12 Last Wednesday of fall semester/Christmas party Youth (7-12)
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