Homesickness…

Concepts, like individuals, have their histories and are just as incapable of withstanding the ravages of time as are individuals. But in and through all this they retain a kind of homesickness for the scenes of their childhood. Soren Kierkegaard

Meditation: As a pastor I am noticing that certain concepts like “sin” and “grace” that at certain times in history made much sense to people, have lost their meaning for most postmodern people today. What do we do? Do we try to describe the childhood of those concepts? Try to bring people back into history where those of us like to dwell who were still raised with a more traditional Christian vocabulary? There are moments where that might be helpful. However, I might need to acknowledge my homesickness for the words that I grew up with, and then courageously decide to live in the present. I want to listen to how people talk today: People who have not been raised in the church, and people who discover the concept of God for the first time. I want to find new words for my favorite childhood terms. “Sin” today might possibly be best described with “narcissism”. “Grace” might mean that God “has not given up on a mentally ill world that is unaware of its illness”.

Prayer: God of history, we wish we could just return to our childhood words and concepts. However, their meanings have vanished, just as our images and memories of growing up no longer match with the experience of life in those childhood places today. Help us trust that Your words are not gone. Your history with us is always deeply relevant. Help us let go of attachments to certain past words, so we can embrace living in the present. Help us fill old concepts and words with new meaning for today. This is what it means that “Jesus is alive”. And we are grateful. Amen

Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. Romans 6:9