Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Picking Sides

Watching people at town hall meetings yell at their representatives, each other, and well anyone else they disagree with has been disheartening. But this is the way we as human beings tend to be wired. We have no time for the details. We really don't want all the facts. What we seem to be interested in is the side or position we should take. I can't speak for everyone, but personally I am tired of it. I think it is good (and normal) that people think different about the world, politics, religion. What is not good is that we have no time to listen or to understand what is going on. I mean do any of us really understand the intricate details of bill that will radically change the way we do health care in our country?
The problem is that most of us don't have the time or energy to understand it. We only want to know if it is good or bad. When often the truth is somewhere in between. All we want to know is do we agree or disagree. I think there is a whole space in between. There is a land of information that we are missing because we are too busy yelling at one another. I know that I sometimes fall into this trap. I pray that I can have the patience and humility to remember to listen and try and understand.
I feel this way about worship. It seems that we are trying to pigeon hole people into two camps. On the one side we have "contemporary" on the other we have "traditional". I am neither of these camps. Rather I am for worshipping Jesus Christ. For Lutherans (of which I am) this takes two specific forms. Word (hearing God's love and forgiveness for us) and Sacrament (God being present with us in concrete forms). This is worship it is what is Biblical and historical. Around this I don't care all that much about the window dressing. Except that the window dressings serves the Word and sacrament. (Also, like most people I have likes and dislikes. But this is not about worship it is about my preferences) You see this is the discussion I want to have. What is God doing to us in worship? Not, what I am getting out of it? The same could be said for health care. I don't want to hear about Canada, England, or what you dislike about Obama. I want to hear people with solutions. I want to know how we are going to keep my family from going bankrupt as we try and pay our medical bills? How are we going to keep the church from going bankrupt from paying insurance for pastors?
You see it is not about sides it is about what serves people best. It is not about what side of the worship debate are you on. It is about how the people of God are going to hear the Gospel. It is not about what political side of the spectrum you sit, it is about what is the best health care system for our children. Of course, in reality we love sides, and we love to take them up. This is why we need Jesus. We need Jesus to free us from ourselves. We need Jesus to help us see our neighbors need, and free us from our self love, our hatred, and our love for picking sides.

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