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More Than Ever

By Dan Baumgartner on
Dan Baumgartner
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Jan 09 in Dan's Musings
 musing 1-11-19           
You’ve probably noticed that my Friday “Musing” is often related in some way to my Sunday sermon. A person can only muse on so many things at once. So I can’t promise that you won’t hear a bit more of this on a Sunday.  As I reflect on starting a new year, I’ve thought about things to change in my own life and things that need to stay the same.  
More than ever I’m convinced that every one of us has certain longings, deep in our souls. The theologian N.T. Wright lists his choices as "the longing for justice, the quest for spirituality, the hunger for relationships, and the delight in beauty (Simply Christian)."  Perhaps you could come up with others. I’m reading Mountains of the Mind, a 2003 book from Robert Macfarlane. It’s an interesting mix of historical narrative and personal experience related to why human beings began to climb mountains–and why we continue to be fascinated by the real or virtual experience of mountains. As I read, I keep thinking that human attitudes about majestic heights and peril and beauty must surely reflect a desire to connect with something bigger than ourselves. To be dwarfed by creation is to be reminded that we are a small part of God’s world. More than ever, we long to know we are part of a much larger narrative.
 
 
More than ever I’m convinced that scripture is critical to our lives. There are as many ways to read scripture as there are people. We could fill the Grand Canyon with books written on scriptural interpretation and application. All I’m saying here is that it is in scripture we learn about the God who writes the larger narrative, the story we are invited to enter with him. Scripture points us to justice, faith, relationship and beauty. Without the truth of scripture, we stagger around the earth looking for something to moor our wandering ship to. We need to immerse ourselves in scripture, more than ever.
 
More than ever I’m convinced that our faith is very specific. The pressure from our culture to lump all religion together, to pursue a vague spirituality that mainly functions to make us feel good emotionally is incredibly strong.  But we don’t believe in god in general, we believe in God revealed in Jesus Christ.  Creation, brokenness, redemption, meaning and eternity are rooted in Christ. Take Jesus out, and everything crumbles like a house of cards falling over.
 
It’s a new year, and lots of things need to change...AND at the same time, certain things never do. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  It’s true...more than ever.
 
See you soon,        
       Pastor Dan

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