I was over in Grinnell on Sunday for the installation of Cameron Barr as their 20th pastor (on the occasion of their 160th anniversary). UCC General Minister and President John Dorhauer preached a sermon with the challenge to not only accept the stranger in our midst, but to love the God who has already accepted them. It’s a funny turn of phrase, but what I heard in it was a need to look at our worship, music, faith formation, outreach, and communities of care to understand the nature of God that they reflect. God is, of course, too great for us to fully imagine. And so, in Christian history our response has been to reflect back certain of God’s attributes as part of building God’s kingdom.
And so we have different models of social justice, different models of what it means to be a person of the resurrection, different emphases in worship, different concepts of what we are doing in worship–are we prayerfully reflecting in community, or are we dancing with joy? It’s the challenge of this century, as we understand where God is calling us to be in our time and our place.
I hope you can join us in our 5-week series of imagination on Wednesday nights beginning next week, but if you can’t, consider looking at Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer in new light.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” It takes courage to think about the things that need changing, and to admit that we can make a difference.