January 31, 2010


I’m no economist. Most months I’m doing well to forecast the next four weeks in the life of my checkbook. But smart people I’ve read suggest that when times are tough, and if the government insists on dumping lots of money on the problem, it should put it to work in infrastructure—roads and rails, beams and bridges. (If I were president, the next great American project, on the scale of Kennedy’s moon-shot, would be high-speed intercity passenger rail all over the place. Get me to New York City in 3 hours without ever leaving the ground. It can be done. But then again, as is obvious and good, I’m not the president.)

I am, however, blessed to be a Teaching Elder. And as a foreman on that big project of building a moving fellowship of believers, this much I know: Whether the times are lean or large, we Christians are never harmed by a boost in our kind of infrastructure—shoring up the bridges and byways over which our living faith moves.

The prophet rings the phone on the construction site:

“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord!
Make straight in the desert a highway for our God!” —Isaiah 40

The Holy Spirit moves—in worship, in words, in a will to push us out those handsome wooden front doors and into the byways and alleyways of our well-traveled lives. That the Spirit moves is of no doubt. The only question for us remains: How is it with the highways on which that Spirit will move? How is our infrastructure? Crumbling or creative? Suffering or supportive? Neglected or new every morning?

Scripture, prayer, service, fellowship, reflection, relationships — These and others are the pathways along which the word of the Lord tends to come, when it comes. And it will come. Here and there, now and then. But it will come, indeed. It is our glad privilege to be ready for its arrival, and its departure, with us in tow.

Hardhats, anyone?

January 26, 2010


I believe in the True Presence. I don’t understand it, but I don’t need to understand it. If you say “I don’t believe in something,” you close the door to growth. And if you say, “I don’t understand, but I want to,” you are open to more. I choose to believe. I want to believe. I don’t understand how or why or whether. But I choose to believe.

--sagacious church member,
reflecting in group discussion on what happens at the Table