Choosing sides

I’m the kid who stood in line waiting…hoping…longing not to be the last one picked for team games. I’m the one who might become the object of a “I’ll take Tommy, you can have the rest” kind of trade. I’m the kid who’d be last to be selected for kickball but first to be chosen for the spelling bee. It would be one of the first life lessons I learned – we all choose sides.

Joshua and the people of Israel found themselves at the edge of the Promised Land where he says, “choose this day whom you will serve…”

It seems that much of the emphasis of modern day Christianity dwells on the choosing of sides…conservative or liberal, evangelical or progressive, traditional or contemporary. When denominational meetings occur, for the Presbyterian Church or other mainline denominations, the news reports often describe the work of these gatherings in terms of which side was chosen by the delegates or commissioners.

“Presbyterians allow gay ordination.” “Presbyterians to debate same sex marriage.” These headlines grab our attention. They imply that we’ve chosen sides. What I believe they don’t say is that we struggle to hear and discern the will of God. Denominational gatherings aren’t about generating sensational news headlines nor are they referendums on social issues.

Denominational meetings such as our General Assembly are occasions when faithful Christians announce, just as Joshua did, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

We cannot avoid the sensational headlines that our meeting will generate. We can choose to seek the will of God.

Please keep the commissioners and advisory delegates in your prayers.

Two more days…

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2 thoughts on “Choosing sides

  1. To add one thought of my own. It becomes essential to remember that whatever “sides” we may see (because we all see them, even when they don’t always exist outside of our own vision) the people on all sides have similarly said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Its never (maybe rarely but I’m tempted to stick with never) a challenge between faithful people and unfaithful people… its a challenge of different views of what faithfulness is calling us to do and be.

    Prayers for you, and all those who are gathering on behalf of the PC(USA), may you all hear God’s calling on us and lead us forward in exciting ways (and admittedly through some really long meetings).

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