Ask the questions …

Good Morning!

Rainer Maria Rilke in “ Letters to a Young Poet” writes “ Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far into the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer”.

Questions are integral to the journey of life and faith. It is how we search and come to knowledge and understanding. In questioning doors are opened. Sometimes we find answers, or partial ones but more often than not we are led to more questions and we move deeper and deeper into that place of becoming. Jesus knew this and constantly used questions as part of his teaching. Folks would come to him seeking answers and he rarely gave them a straight answer. More typically Jesus encouraged his hearers to think for themselves, he asked them a question and invited them on a journey of discovery. John Shelby Spong writes “ the Christian life is a journey and people ought to enjoy it. The people that think they have arrived are the ones that always get into trouble. Anytime somebody thinks the journey is over and they have finally achieved the truth, they always put the wagons in a circle and begin to defend their truth against all concerns and in the process kill one another. There is nothing about the Christian life that says it is complete. It is ultimately a journey into the mystery of God.”

Being in this place of constant questioning may feel unnerving for some. We live in a world that seeks instant gratification and life is much easier when there is a definitive answer. Yet some theologians would say that questioning, seeking, delving into the ambiguity and learning to live there is how we remain open, active, part of the adventure and ultimately open to the mystery of the Divine. The story of faith is one that has not yet come to its completion and the challenge is to follow the story as it is evolving. In their book “ Living the Questions” David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murray write “ Relying solely on doctrines and dogmas passed on from others has seldom been a satisfying exercise for those longing for something deeper spiritually or thought-provoking theologically. To not ask questions is tantamount to forfeiting one’s own spiritual birthright and allowing other people’s experience of the Divine to define your experience.”

With all of this in mind, on Sunday I issued an invitation for people to write their questions of faith and pass them on to the ministry team. There is a box at the back of the church, or you can submit them via email to any member of the team. We will take these questions and for the next however long it takes we will wrestle with one question each Sunday. This will be part of the conversation and part of the wrestling. Once a Month beginning the third Sunday of September you will be invited to continue the conversation around the questions following worship. Bring a brown bag lunch and enter into a time of reflection and sharing of experiences.

My prayer for each of us is that we will have the courage to enter into the ambiguity and open our beings to the Divine mystery. May we grow in spirit and in truth!

Blessings
Valerie

Reminders of the Week

On Wednesday the 13th I will be flying to Winnipeg with three of our youth to participate in Rendezvous 2014. This is a national gathering of youth, young adults and leaders. I will return to work on August 20th. During that time Roger will be on call for me and of course, as always you are agents of pastoral care to one another.

 

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