When we first moved to Seguin eleven years ago, we (Southern Baptists – termed lapsed Baptists, I suppose) visited the Seguin First United Methodist Church and have never left. A few weeks/months after visiting, we joined the church and the pastor at that time was Reverend Tom Deviney, who has since transferred to Bethany Methodist Church in Austin, Texas. Now and again I visit Bethany’s website and read Tom’s column in the newsletter. Since Tom left, we have had two pastors (Rev. Dr. Lonnie Phillips and Rev. Steve Purdy) – both of whom bring a special ‘spiritualness’ to the congregation as did Tom and I am most grateful for each of them.
(I know ‘spiritualness’ isn’t a Real Word.)
In Bethany’s July 26, 2009 issue, Tom’s column mentioned the Tour de France and he concludes with
This year I’m cheering for Lance [Armstrong]. It’s a long shot but maybe he’ll win an amazing victory. And maybe I can be inspired to live my faith with the kind of discipline he shows in racing. Because that amazing victory is a sure thing.
Faith. The mystery of faith. Marilyn Chandler McEntyre (professor of literature at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California) believes that the “Word of God is rich, mysterious, invitational, sometimes ambiguous, and ultimately unfathomable.”
Although I have had dry spells – when I don’t particularly feel very ‘worthy,’ I have not had Doubt. These past few weeks as we enjoy our grandsons’ visits, I feel refreshed and renewed spiritually and although I don’t understand this Mystery, I accept it – gratefully and wholeheartedly. So many of our ordinary experiences are infused with mystery.
Professor McEntyre writes that she has struggled, “as many do, with the memories and effects of judgmental, literalistic, legalistic approaches to faith. It took me a long time to recognize in the Gospels the real good news of forgiveness, mercy, grace, freedom, and unimaginable love.”
In scripture, the word “Come” is written over and over again. An invitation. An invitation charged with mystery and surprise.
How marvelous that my grandsons have reawakened these moments in me!