Dear Edwards Church Community,
I hope your summer has included ample opportunities to gather with friends or family, savor the flavors of the season, and be refreshed. I hope summer has also blessed you with moments when you were reminded that God is good – all the time!
When we gather on Sundays to worship, something should happen. We come to touch and be touched by the holy, to have an encounter with the Divine, to be refreshed and renewed for our lives in the rest of the world, with a sense of purpose that transcends the trials of daily life. We turn to the church to be comforted and challenged, to have our faith informed and deepened, and to become part of a movement called church, a movement that works within the holy cause of making life more like the kingdom (or kin-dom) of heaven, God’s dream of love and justice fully realized.
In church, we sing and pray together to find and make meaning together. We join forces to care for each other and our neighbors. If we did not do these things, would it still be church? I think not.
This fall we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Actually, we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther starting the Reformation by nailing his 95 theses to the front door of a cathedral. A faithful Christian and a Catholic priest, Luther famously had issues with some of his church’s practices and teachings, which he was convinced were overdue for positive change. The rest, as they say, is history.
It is history and we are still living it, because although Luther’s brave and desperate act initiated the process, the real reformation is a process of continuous self-examination and striving to become all the church can be, as an institution, and all we can be, as individual Christians.
The work of the church in history is the work of individuals finding their vocation, their call, within the larger vocation of the whole church, as it strives to fulfill God’s dream. That was true for Martin Luther and for Martin Luther King, Jr. and it remains true for us today.
“Gathering at the crossroads of ancient faith and contemporary culture,
we are a Christian church asking God to open us to a new way.” This year, may we be increasingly bold in the ways we keep asking and opening.