Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Born on the 4th of July

The Christian Century has a great article up right now (happens to be from a former prof of mine...way to go, Ted!) about being American and Christian. So read away.

I sympathize with where Ted has been and is now. It's at this point I envy my father who manages to preserve his hope, faith, and joy while not ignoring or explaining away the sizable dark side. (Read this post, for instance.) And I sympathize with Ted's description of taking himself too seriously...if you knew how often over the past 6 or 7 years I've wanted to preach a sermon about being humbled to be an American...well, if I don't stop now then I'll be on my soapbox in 2.5 seconds. It's hard to know what to believe and think, much less do on this venerable holiday.

So here's what I'll be doing for this year's Fourth. We'll take the kids back to my hometown for one of the longest-running, continuous parades in the country. We'll have watermelon at the end, go home and grill some burgers, possibly take a nap, and watch the firework display. I know that won't be enough for some, and too much for others. But at the end of the day, salvation--my own as well as our collective--is not dependent on celebrating this holiday, nor on shunning it. It's about honestly and earnestly pursuing salvation in the midst of it. The ways we respond are just that--they come as a result of faith, not to cause it.

And I'll save the sermon for another year, perhaps.

1 comment:

spiritstirrer said...

I also enjoyed Ted's article. It was refreshing honest and made you think. We celebrated the fourth here at Squyres last night with fireworks, watermelon and lots of wonderful fellowship.

As I said in my recent email to you: I will be posting soon (not sure about what specifically although some thoughts on liturgy/ritual and the contemporary church come to mind.

Hey how about a series of post on our ordinations: what they mean to us and what we believe they might mean to the UM church and to the church universal???? Peace, JC