Wednesday, March 8, 2017

so much to learn

I had an hour and quarter lunch today with someone normally wouldn't talk with or even know.

He's the pastor of a 'Bible' church who preaches his was through whole books of the Bible a chapter at a time. He asked me if I used the same sermons over as I rotated through the 3 churches of the Cluster and I told him we had a lectionary. Just on that level we have next to nothing in common.

Once, several years ago, we had lunch with 4 or 5 other pastors from the area, at his church. I looked at his extensive bookshelf and recognized not one title or author. Yet he and I both call ourselves "Christians". And we're so different.

Yet I like him a great deal. We both have sons named Josh who are lawyers. We both have lived in the same house for 27 years. We both turn 70 this year. Some things in common.

Here's what shook me up and made me realize I have so much to learn: he has a woman who comes to his evangelical church who is a professed atheist. He likes her a great deal. He's not sure why she comes but she likes the community and enjoys the music.

She asked him recently: 'people always ask me what could make you believe, so I ask you, what could make you stop believing?

He asked me the question because he'd been pondering it.

I told him, "I'm a bad one to ask since the older I get the fewer things I need to believe." I then told him about my non-creedal Christian thoughts and how few things I believe...or need to.

Then I told him, honestly, "if something happened that killed my four granddaughters I would cease to believe at all."

Perhaps I should have said, "I could never forgive a God, if there is one, for that."

It was a great time. I like him a lot.

During the time after my knee surgery he emailed me more times to ask how I was than anyone else--and I hardly knew him then.

A good guy. He didn't wince when I cursed. I admire that.

Maybe we all need to get to know people that are greatly different from us.

Ponder that.

And ponder his atheist's question as well.

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.