Just saw a Church Sign which held in public view this statement: ‘All new summer Sermons— NO RERUNS!’
Those of you who have been following this ‘Faith Of A Mustard Seed’ journey may have recognized the ‘re-runs’ of the past five weeks. I have transitioned (again remembering my days of itineracy with the United Methodist Church) from one house to another and am still at the time of this writing ‘living out of boxes’. The circumstances of this move is not from ‘one Church appointment to another’, but beset with a whole new contemporary set of issues that brings a ‘new knowledge experience’ of the times in which we live.
Jeremiah identified it as a fire that made him ‘weary with holding it in’. Suffice it to say that the words of the gospel choir’s song has new meaning— ‘…but in every situation, God gives consolation, that trials come to only make us strong!Through it all… I’ve learned to trust in Jesus. I’ve learned to trust in God.’ And so remaining true to the task of this column, what Faith statement can be made?
Tillich’s definition of faith continues to provide the foundation— FAITH IS ULTIMATE CONCERN! At this point we must raise the question of what we are concerned about? It is a very simple and elementary formula in our times— M + E = ME! If it is not happening to me, ‘I am’ unconcerned! If ‘I am’ not (visibly) affected, it is not my concern! As long as it does not knock on (down) my door, I won’t get involved.
I went into the convenient store at 28th and Jefferson Street, the only store so far as I can see, in my new community. I immediately took note of the foreign proprietorship and began to wonder how a single store of this kind would come to service the entire University and surrounding community. By the time I tried to select items for purchase I took note of the cost! I paid for a single drink and was ‘no longer holding it in’ as I verbalized my distrust in their taking advantage of a ‘student population’!… all the way out the door!
Now ME, I have been driving the distance to return to communities where the ‘excessive mark-up’ is not being felt and where ‘quality’, ‘choice’ and ‘service’ factor into cost. So it is not happening to me, ‘I am’ unconcerned??? ‘I am’ not (visibly) affected, it is not my concern??? It is not knocking (on) down my door, I won’t get involved???
I keep hearing Jesus’ Call To Self-Denial— “if any one would come after me, let him deny himself…!” Ultimate Concern.
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