Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sun. Dec. 30, 2012 (Andre Pekovich)

Andre Pekovich (PGIMF Coordinator) spoke on the final Sunday of 2012. Some recent studies consider the complex role played by bacteria and parasites in our bodies, acknowledging that we do not digest food unassisted, but that this is accomplished only with significant help from bacteria foreign to our bodies. Some people are even tinkering with bacteria as a means of addressing modern diseases. While we generally share certain types of bacteria, each of us has our own unique blend known as "flora" and our different bodies respond to varying flora in differing ways. In a similar fashion, Christianity cannot be viewed simplisticly as a monolith in which all Christians share a common set of beliefs and practices. Even the earliest churches described in Acts had seriously opposed schools of thought already flourishing within 20 years of the Sermon on the Mount. Today's church follows suit, including beliefs and practices as differing as those espoused by Orthodoxy, Catholicism, nationalistic fundamentalism, modern Anabaptism, and mysticism, to say nothing of the ever-evolving group of Christians unable to find a home in any church. Stories about Rahab, Abram, Hosea and Gomer remind us that individuals, whose lives were frequently thought to be of little consequence, nevertheless made useful contributions as part of the host of minute 'flora' which somehow helped to keep the faith movement evolving. St Paul's culture and ours differ drasticly, and his most impassioned battles with other believers concerned topics of little interest to us today. To keep the faith movement alive, like Paul, we need to find ways to help it continue evolving as culture evolves. For starters, we should continue rereading and rethinking the canon (which already offers a variety of expressions and faiths) and reading well beyond the canon, for although secular politicians over the ages (e.g., Constantine, Charles V, etc.) attempted to force unity of faith upon all the churches in their kingdoms, this goal was never put into practice except on paper; the church never has been a monolith. To be truly alive, Christ's church requires a tremendous variety of flora. [JEK]

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, December 30th, 2012 using your browser's preferred media player.



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