In my paid job, I teach people to evaluate information. Should you believe statistics from a site called city data, or from the US Census Bureau? Is information here true?* The standard guidelines say to look at who wrote it and that person’s publication history and/or credentials. In academia, we put a lot of stock in level of degrees and where they came from, number of publications, and names of awards that the rest of the world either hasn’t heard of or generally associates with pompousness or super-smartness.
For the sake of honesty, I need to say that I am not a pastor, nor a Biblical scholar. Sometimes what I write on this site could be open to discussion, or flat-out wrong. I will research and consult commentaries and people who have devoted their lives to this amazing stuff in order to minimize my mistakes, but I also hope you’ll hold me accountable and engage in some thoughts in the comment area. I also welcome email with questions or thoughts from you.
Now, all that said, the church is not academia. Our “credentials”* and accomplishments don’t really matter. Jesus welcomed the outcasts, and told everyone who believes in Him to love neighbor as self. In and as the church, we are welcomed and accepted just as we are. We believe that everyone has “something to offer” and that we all together form the body of Christ. The Bible even talked about how we need each other! This little blog is something I hope to offer to God, and to you my community as a way of giving hope and challenging you to think about your faith and life.
As a final disclaimer, I am a geek for Lutheran theology. So I will leave you with a little bit of law and a little bit of gospel.* God holds us responsible for loving each other and using our gifts to serve the church and the world around us. For me, that’s a slightly terrifying responsibility. But, we’ve all got something to offer; we’ve also got communities and a world that desperately needs our God-given gifts. Best of all, God won’t leave us to do any of this alone. Thanks be to God.
Blessing: May our loving God strengthen and guide you from making mistakes that you will regret. May you sense the presence of the Holy Spirit working through you, and the many gifts that you have to offer, in the world around us.
*Tricky, but this is totally fake. Lots of people have fallen for it, so please don’t feel bad if you were among them.
*Exception made for pastors sanctifying communion, but that topic could and may be another post all to itself