From the Interim Pastor | Optimism + Pessimism
There’s a well-known bit of wisdom that goes: “Both optimists and pessimists contribute something of value. The optimist invents the airplane, the pessimist the parachute.” It’s not certain who first said this; it’s been attributed to various sources. But the idea that people are “wired” differently, with each at times annoyed and angered by the other, is actually a good thing, for the delicate balance between the two contributes to healthy and purposeful life together.
The church faces great challenges as it seeks to discern what God intends it to do and to be. By “the church” I don’t mean just Erwin Presbyterian, or just the church in our present world, but the church in all times and places, beginning with the meeting in AD 48 or 49, as reported in Acts 15. Christians with contending points of view gathered in Jerusalem to talk about the character and work of the church, and to agree on a mission that glorifies God and embraces the unchurched. There were risks in staying the way they were. But there were risks in making changes, as well. As there is still. In the end, plans for revision and renewal in church life were decided. When people learned of these changes, most “were filled with joy” (Acts 15:32). And, in a perfect world, that’s how it would be, with full agreement on all matters, group hugs, and a chorus of Kum Ba Yah. Instead, some disagreements lingered (Acts 15:39). But the imperfection of this present world only sharpens our shared vision for God’s perfect world. And those who gathered in Jerusalem left Jerusalem with different roles and responsibilities, but one in the spirit and one in the Lord.
Thanks be to God for blessing us with diverse talents and temperaments, and thanks be to God for gifting us with graces of unity and fellowship.
See you in church!