It’s beautiful here, so of course I went for a bike ride. I was riding along the river when I came to this sign. It says, “Road Not Maintained; Travel at Your Own Risk.” I have a bike that is built for roads that are a little rough. When I saw the sign I smiled, it was great. The road was flat, right on the river. I’m thinking it was a levee road. The temp was hovering at 70. The bluffs were towering above me; the bumps were persistently below me…. I felt so alive.
The responses on Facebook from my biking buddies ranged from “Great” and “Go Faster” to my favorite; “Believe.” It took me a while to get that last one but that guy has it right; when you come to a place in any road where it is a little risky to travel, sometimes you’ve just got to believe in yourself.
Our last sermon series, which engaged many of us at a deeper level of connecting our life and our faith, illustrates something of a road for those of us whom work on worship are planning to risk traveling. No, it’s not going to be sport’s themed worshiped from now on. But we will be working on ways to reach out and engage folks at this deeper faith meets life level.
How do we do that? Well we have to find different ways to listen to people who are on the outside of our sanctuary doors on Sunday morning. While in Winona I’ve been pondering a theme for our year in 2016. I want to talk with our staff, leaders and others before I put something out there in cyber space. Whatever that theme becomes we know that road certainly will not be as well maintained as others. It will be a bit risky to travel. Do we have it in ourselves to say, as my Facebook friends replied, “Great”, “Go Faster” and most importantly “Believe”? Believe in ourselves, believe God’s call on our lives, and believe in the need that is before us.
On Sunday, we continue down this risky road in our new sermon series, “The Confirmation Questions”. At first glance you might think these are the questions that I ask 8th and 9th graders, but in reality these are the questions 8th and 9th graders have for us. It’s very important to listen closely to what the next generation is asking. The first question: “Is Christianity the Only Way to God?” is one a lot of us are asking at many different levels. Besides the obvious intellectual curiosity, in 2015 we all have friends that we respect, even admire who are not Christian.
See you there. It might even be a good day to invite a friend to see and hear how we address this important question.
Keep the Faith!