Pastor’s ponderings

Someone recently told me, “Pastor, your ponderings really make me ponder myself.”  My response, “Well, good, that’s what they’re supposed to do!”

            The unfortunate situation is we don’t think often enough about our faith.  We don’t think about how God is still at work in the world around us.  We don’t think about how what Christ did for us make all the difference in our lives.  We don’t think about how the Holy Spirit’s continuous work today is still a reality.  We don’t think.  We don’t consider.  We don’t ponder.

            In church terms we use this big word called “theology,” to describe all of these things.  Yet, “theology” can also be very simply defined as “God talk.”  It is what we say about God in a given context.  One of my dictionaries notes that it could be further explained as “faith seeking understanding.”  When we ponder a circumstance, we are looking for ways that God is at work in it, where the Spirit is present, what Jesus might have done in a similar situation.  When we ponder these things, we are having a theological conversation, with ourselves, with others, and even with God.

            However, I have also found that a lot of people don’t like to have theological conversations.  They don’t like to dig deeper into their faith, to question what it is that we believe.  We don’t like to question our values, our positions on matters, and/or our beliefs about certain topics because we think to do so is to question God, or that the answer we receive might require us to change.  Yet, when we look to Scripture, we find multiple people did question their faith and understanding of a variety of situations.  John the Baptist and “doubting” Thomas questioned whether Jesus actually was the Messiah.  Most of the prophets are well-known for questioning what it was that God was calling them to do.  Moses didn’t think he was good enough.  David’s Psalms show us how regularly he anguished over his assignment.  Abraham and Sarah laughed when God told them they would have a child.  Even Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, asked God if there was possibly another way for things to happen other than what he knew was to come.

            It’s ok to ask questions.  It’s ok to ponder.  It’s ok to wrestle with God like the Bible tells us Jacob did.  For, I think, this is the only way that we get closer to understanding what it is that God wants us to know.  It’s the only way we get closer to God.  It’s the only way we grow in our relationship and become transformed into what God wants us to be.

            So, what questions do you have?  What about your theology has strengthened, or given you some heartburn about, your relationship and commitment to Christ?  What can we ponder together today?

                                                            Always pondering, Pastor Steve

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