What I'm Writing
This morning we will pause in our usual look at the problems of today to instead focus on some of our history. This Sunday is known in our church calendar as Reformation Sunday, meaning on this Sunday we honor, consider, and explore some of what it has historically meant to be a Protestant.
In this truth is always relative world, it often is a great risk to consider our history, or what might be called our traditional understandings of the world, because to do so implies there might be such a thing as truth in the world. By speaking about history, and claiming it as our own, we are collectively drawing a line in the sand saying these things happened and they matter.
Given the risk, it makes sense to consider this history together, in a space that speaks mightily to the notions that gave birth to the Reformation 500 years ago.
The poster child for the Reformation is probably Martin Luther. Luther was a German monk, a theology professor, Catholic, who famously nailed 95 theses of protest against certain doctrines and practices (such as the sale of indulgences) of the Roman Church to the door of the Wittenberg cathedral.
The printing press spread Luther’s words all across Europe and changed forever changed the face of Christianity.
So, while you are waiting, consider what truth is so important in your life that is worth defending? What truth is worth dying for? What truth might be worth living for?
I wonder if you have ever heard the expression, “elevator speech.” The notion is you might find yourself with only an elevator ride, 30 seconds or so, to sell your idea, or project or even get your foot in the door to a new job.
Career service workers often encourage those looking to find a new job to think about how they might best pull one of these little pitches off. People are encouraged to note their skills, or their abilities, or to highlight their vision.
As some of you know, I am now taking a night class at the local community college, which deals with nonprofit management. This week our class was asked to offer up our best elevator pitch for our respective organizations.
I’m not the best at this sort of thing, but this morning we will meet a couple characters in our readings that really must have had it down. We’ll first meet Jacob who convinced his whole family to head out into the desert. We’ll then meet a widow who against all odds finds justice at the hands of an unjust judge.
So, in the moments before we begin, I’d ask you to consider your own elevator speech, the one you might offer if asked to speak about your faith.
I wonder would words come easily or would it be difficult?
What words would you use to speak about, ask for, or defend the impulse that brought you here this morning?