20th of Pentecost

It is often said that a good question is as good as a good answer. Good questions get us thinking, set out brains to wondering and it sparks the probing curious side of our human nature. Everything we know started as a question.

Helen Keller was once asked: is there anything worse than being born blind?

We may find ourselves: why? Or How? Or Is it worth it?All great questions cause us probe deeper into our life, our faith, the world and universe around us and our relationship with the Holy.

This past week Canada and particular Ottawa has been asking Why did this happen? How could it happen?

The Pharisees asked Jesus: “what is the greatest Commandment?”

Helen Keller’s answer was and still is brilliant. “to have sight and no vision” Only she could answer with such clarity and depth and truth.

There are many answers that we would like to have answered and some will be answered very soon and some will take a lifetime and some not at all. It seems to me it is the ‘what If’ questions that never get answered. Well my quick answer is: if you are wondering about your what if, then follow, chase, pursue your IF.

Centuries ago Copernicus and Galileo wondered about the up there or out there. Society and particularly the church did no like the answers and they were killed and ridiculed. For centuries we thought the world was flat and now that is just crazy think. Many still think that God’s relationship with humanity and creation ended with the final Amen in Revelations. But we are slowly coming to realize with a more heart felt knowing that God is active and continues to be engaged with us the people.

The church and the United Church are realizing that the 60’s and 70’s are not returning. The way we engage our communities and the way people engage in church life is shifting. We are making some baby steps to figure out how to walk again but we have a way to go before we are walking or running. It does not mean that we stop taking baby steps. After all it seems to me that baby steps lead to toddler walk that lead to walking that lead to running that lead to sprinting.

The events in Quebec and Ottawa were tragic. Our response does not have to be. In part the papers have editorials that call for a full on annihilation of ISIS. The arming of all Canadians with the logic that then we will be safe. Lets take time to investigate the what and maybe the why’s. lets be united as a peaceful nation.

I do not have answers. I have joined about 36 million Canadians in pray and in solidarity. I will continue to live a life on purpose. I choose to not cower and hide. And I will seek for peace by peaceful means. And I will hold each day and moment with gratitude and awe.

What is the greatest commandment?  I can almost see Jesus rolling his eyes and saying: is that all you have. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment.

Response of Pharisees

And the second is this: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”

Let that sink in a bit. You shall love your neighbour as yourself…

I will love my neighbour as myself…

God…I’m thinking I am going to need lots of Your help to live into this one.