July 27, 2021

Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.
[Hebrews 10:23 NRSV]

Since the end of the Lenten season I have struggled with how to continue posting on this blog. I have deliberated the direction in which I want to take my posts – what will my focus be and other considerations.

As a pastor, it is too easy to fall into the routine of commenting on the assigned lectionary readings for the coming Sunday. I rejected that idea because there are already more than enough commentaries out there, and the thought of adding one more to the glut of opinions held little interest or appeal to me.

Just the mere notion of writing itself, given the overabundance of blogs that presently proliferate in cyberspace, made me reluctant to continue in the fray. After all, what more can I say that someone hasn’t already said – perhaps even more articulately than I?

Yet my ego prevailed and made me sit down to stare at the computer screen for the better part of yesterday afternoon and organize my jumbled thoughts into some coherent semblance of prose.

And I have arrived at the following conclusions.

I will force myself to write every Tuesday and Friday and even more frequently, if the situation warrants.

I’ll continue to use Scripture as my springboard. I am, after all, a pastor, and it is Scripture, God’s Word, that informs me.

No one wants to constantly read tirades and diatribes, so I’ll make a concerted effort to limit my rants.  A steady diet of anger and hostility becomes tedious and unsustainable.

However, I won’t mute my voice when I feel something needs to be said.

There are a myriad of justice issues that continue to go largely unaddressed while congress continually engages in petty power struggles. Nothing significant has happened in regard to alleviating hunger, homelessness, racial reckoning, welcoming the stranger, or care for our creation, among other things. The COVID disparity is devastating. Hatred and division threaten to disrupt, if not altogether tear apart the fabric of our society.  

In a world that is pleading for peace and harmony, our churches move at glacial speed in their attempts to witness to God’s presence.

If my clamor can somehow serve to move those in power to act positively to benefit those in need, then I am committed to do my part to bring about that change.

Though there is much that I can neither understand nor make sense of, I refuse to give in to despair.

But I realize that I do not and cannot act alone. Though my efforts may be singular, it is God within me that invites and guides my actions. The Spirit leads me to do God’s will and to glorify God’s holy name. It is the divine and abiding presence of God that overcomes the dread of fear and fills me with the confidence of hope.

It reminds me of a hymn by John L. Bell, titled, Will You Come and Follow Me. The first stanza reads:

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?
[Evangelical Lutheran Worship #798]

I write mostly for myself and my own satisfaction. Yet I write with the desire that my words may offer some sense of encouragement to those of you who take the time to read my thoughts. I look forward to your joining me along the journey.

Published by pastorallende

Retired Bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Social justice and immigration reform advocate. Micah 6:8. Fluent in English and Spanish. I enjoy music and sports.

4 thoughts on “HOW, WHEN, AND WHERE TO GO?

  1. Querido pastor Allende:
    Muy buen comienzo. Me gusta. La lucha por el ambiente y las responsabilidad que todos guardar es importante.

    Adelante con el proyecto.


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