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From Your Synod Executive...

Yesterday I was talking with a colleague about two poles of our faith:  acknowledging the mystical, mysterious God whom we will never fully figure out while also trying to be articulate about our faith so that others can understand who we understand to be God whenever we mention the holy name.  The first pole is comfortable with a lack of knowledge and the second pole looks for a big red bow to tie up every conversation.


There’s a place for each perspective, but when life is too mysterious for our liking, and figuring out next steps that would honor God is too challenging, we often find ourselves wishing God would just tell us what to do.  Like the Black Christians among us who sometimes call back to their preacher, “Make it clear!”, we want God to simply direct our steps and keep us on the path.


I found a Lenten poem by Kathleen Norman which somehow navigates between our honoring of mystery and our desire for clarity.  In it, she plucks out Jesus’ commands to his disciples (and to us) as clarion call for the sanctified life.  Yet she never tries to tell us exactly what he means with each phrase. 


Here it is, Imperatives, Part Two of Mysteries of the Incarnation


Look at the birds

Consider the lilies

Drink ye all of it





Enter by the narrow gate


Do not be anxious

Judge not; do not give dogs what is holy


Go: be it done for you

Do not be afraid

Maiden, arise

Young man, I say, arise


Stretch out your hand

Stand up, be still

Rise, let us be going …




Remember me 

May it be so, this Lent, as we both enter into mystery and give thanks for clarity.


Your partner in ministry,


Rev. Charles B Hardwick, PhD  



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