Alright, Im beginning to think I shouldn't read the discussion groups on social media sites or the Web because they totally get my mind spinning and thinking about how I should respond etc. Earlier this week, I found myself trying to wrap my mind and brain around the death of Osama Bin Laden...and must admit that in some ways, Im still trying to sort through it. I read an interesting article earlier today titled "Preaching and Osama." It was a great article that talked about how this Sunday, preachers are going to have to help their parishioners sort out the difference between love and hate. An interesting perspective! You can find the article at this link http://wwwstaff.murdoch.edu.au/~loader/Osama.htm
Then today I open up a discussion group conversation talking about Rob Bell's new book, "Love Wins." I know many people don't like what Bell is writing and are calling him a heretic and a universalist. That is so silly to me! There are parts of the book that really make me wonder if he was a Lutheran in a former life! He does talk a lot about God's grace and mercy. I am reminded of a question he poses in the book, "Which is stronger and more powerful: the hardness of the human heart or God's unrelenting, infinite, expansive love (Love Wins, Rob Bell)?" Bell suggests that God's love wins! And I hope he is right! As a woman called to pick up her basin and towel, I believe that I am called to pick up my basin and towel and wash the feet of ALL God's people. Who am I to judge? I am just as sinful as the next person!
I know that this concept is difficult for some of us to grasp but I'm convinced that Jesus gave us the example. Who did Jesus reach out to? The least, the lost, the lowly, the marginalized of society! So how can we show that love to others? How can we reach beyond ourselves and beyond our church walls?
It seems to me that the ELCA has done a wonderful job even in the midst of hard times to continue to spread that love. Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR---a partnership of the ELCA and Missouri Synod) is often the first response team on the site during a natural disaster. The ELCA has over 250 missionaries serving in over 50countries. And the list could go on and on. But the reality is that the ELCA has struggled over the last several years because people are upset over the decisions made at the ELCA Churchwide assembly. How can we help each other to respect each others opinions and continue to help spread God's love not just in our own churches but outside our church walls to the world? What do we teach our children and our homes if we only keep our resources for ourselves?
In the end, I am convinced that if we share God's love to all and move beyond these decisions, we will be truly blessed! Who am I to judge? And who am I to say who can and cannot lead? Jesus himself used some interesting and unexpected characters to spread his message of the gospel! I am reminded of a question my colleague asked the other day, "Where have you seen the Risen and Living Jesus?" (And be forwarned that if I like your responses, I may share them with my colleague)
Oh yeah and yesterday was my 400th post!!!!