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New Year Spiritual Discipline

Each new year I embrace a guiding spiritual discipline, practice that will guide my soul work. Last year I embraced a practice of going as far back in my life, using memory, stories, pictures, historical records, and conversations with family, friends, and acquaintances as part of this practice. I tried to call my attention all sorts of experiences. I tried to “tell and remember the truth” and wade through the fiction I created. It was a cathartic effort that touched me deeply, challenged me with truth, and hopefully will guide me into the year to come.

I am still working on embracing a discipline for 2021. Not sure of what that will be, still have a few days to pray, discern just what I need, where the Spirit will lead. So much has happened in this past year, in the past few years. The very foundations of our world, our nation, our culture, our institutions, our common life have been torn apart. The same can be said about the Christian faith, the Church, and the local church.

It may take me a bit of time to work this out, but right now I am leaning into raising a few questions, praying, contemplating, seeking guidance. Those questions that bother me so at this point and time in my life are:

What is truth? What do we mean in our faith traditions when we declare there are eternal truths?

What is the purpose and work of the Church? What does it mean to be a Christian?

Why would anybody want to be a Christian, to be a member of a church?

What authority, if any, does the Bible, the Pulpit, Common Worship have

for a culture of narcissism, power, money, greed, and division?

Why am I a Christian? What, if any, is my role in the Church? I am well practiced in being in the role of pastor, but what about on the rolls as a member?

How about you? What disciple would be helpful, hopeful, and transformative for you? What questions do you have, what experiences, troubles, doubts, hopes and dreams are stirring in your soul? How can “we” fellow disciples of Jesus, members of the church, “work out our salvation with fear and trembling?” How will you take charge of the one person you are most responsible for, yourself?

You might not, just like the rest of us, be able to save and change the world, but Jesus already took care of that. Save and change what you can, you, and that is enough.

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